BLEACHER FEATURE: Wellesley’s Athlete of the Week

by Bianca Pichamuthu '16 Staff Photographer

By EMILY BARY ’14 

Editor in Chief

by Bianca Pichamuthu '16 Staff Photographer

by Bianca Pichamuthu ’16
Staff Photographer

Luckily for the Wellesley cross country team, Sonja Cwik ’17 never made her middle school soccer team. That’s why the first-year standout decided to switch gears in high school, joining the cross country squad her freshman year. 

Now, it’s hard to believe that she only has four years of competitive running under her belt. Cwik earned all conference honors earlier this month with a 13th place finish in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference championship, helping the Blue race to second place overall in team scoring.

Cwik spoke with me about her preparations for her first indoor track season ever—she’s from California, where they don’t offer the sport in high school—as well as her hopes to one day run a marathon. Excerpts of the talk follow.

Emily Bary (E.B.): How long have you been running?

Sonja Cwik (S.C.): I started running cross country my freshman year of high school. I did it because my brother also ran cross country.

E.B.: Why did you decide to run at Wellesley?

S.C.: I visited in February and I really liked the dynamic of the team and how they fit together, so I decided it would be a good fit for me.

E.B.: The team got a new coach this year. Did that give you any hesitation?

S.C.: Not really. A little bit at first, but my dad read about him and said that he was a really good coach.

E.B.: There’s hardly any gap between the cross country and track seasons. Do you ever wish for a break?

S.C.: I’m from California and we didn’t have indoor track there, so I haven’t known it without a gap and this will be my first year trying it out.

E.B.: How many miles do you run per week?

S.C.: It depends on the week. When you get close to the end of the season you start tapering and running less, but usually it’s about 45 miles a week.

E.B.: How do you avoid injuries?

S.C.: It’s mostly about preventative measures, so if anything’s hurting whatsoever you just go to the athletic training room. They have ice, heat, stim and all sorts of things to help you.

E.B.: Do you like cross country or track better?

S.C.: Cross country, definitely. It’s more exciting, less just running in circles. There’s more variation in where you run.

E.B.: How has your transition to college running been?

S.C.: You run a lot more in college and the people running in college are a lot more dedicated. That was really nice, that a lot of people are more dedicated. It was harder at the beginning of the school year but it got easier as I got more into it and more confident in my abilities.

E.B.: What was it like to get all-conference honors?

S.C.: It was amazing. People have different races depending on the day. You could do really well or really badly, so I’m really happy I did well.

E.B.: What are your goals for the rest of the season?

S.C.: We basically only have one more meet left if we don’t make it to nationals, so I guess it would be to go to nationals.

E.B.: Do you plan to keep running after college?

S.C.: So far yes. I don’t know where my life will be at this point since I’m a first year, but I hope I will continue to run. My goal is to run a marathon at some point but I don’t know if that will be in college or afterwards.

E.B.: Thanks, Sonja.

Cwik is one of seven Wellesley runners who will compete this weekend at the NCAA regional tournament. With a strong performance on Saturday, Nov. 16, the team could qualify for nationals. Otherwise, runners have the chance to qualify individually.

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