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Norwood - Local Town Pages

Middle Distance Runner Looking To Qualify

By Christopher Tremblay

Upon entering Norwood High School, Catherine Cronin first tried out for the Mustang soccer team, but by the time the winter season came around, the then freshman was looking for something else to fill her time. Like so many athletes, Cronin gravitated toward track to help with her main sport.

“I wanted to stay in shape for soccer and I felt that I was pretty good at running so I gave it a shot,” Cronin said. “I made the varsity team and found that the girls were all welcoming. Being not that large of a group it wasn’t all that bad.”

Norwood Coach Alanna Keady figured that the incoming freshman would best be suited for running middle distance. Cronin has run the 300, 600, and 1000, but finds she fits the best in the 600 where she currently has a best time of 1:48 and is a mere one second away from being able to qualify for the Divisional Meet.

Taking part in the other events she noted that she has done all right, but prefers the 600. However, it wasn’t all that easy for her when she began running the event Norwood two years ago.

“The first year in anything is usually hard and my times were not that good, around the 2-minute mark,” Cronin said. “The 600 is a long spring and you have to get use to it to become good. I really didn’t get it down until the end of last year (her sophomore campaign). I had to not only learn to pace myself but had to breathe properly.” 

Prior to becoming proficient running the 600, Cronin decreased her time during her sophomore season. Continuing to practice and learn proper techniques for the event, she was able to knock her time down to 1:56. In addition to her working on her running ability, she found a great resource in the addition of a distance coach.

“Getting Ms. Baptiste last year as a distance coach really helped,” Cronin said. “In practice she taught us where our times should be in each event and how we should run our races to get those times down.”

With her having someone teach her how to properly run her event, Cronin is shooting to qualify for the 600 in the Sectional Meet at the end of the season. Last spring as a sophomore, she qualified to take part in the 800 during the Divisional Meet. Unfortunately, she did not have her best of days and believes she finished in the vicinity of 25th out of 30 runners.

“I definitely would like to get my current time down at least one second if not more to qualify,” Cronin said. “And once I do that, I’ll have to keep working on my running to perform well there.”

Prior to the school year beginning this year, Cronin found herself using the summer to prepare on her own by running more and doing the workouts that she was taught last year. 

By running track in the winter and spring, Cronin believes that her soccer game has improved, and she now has more stamina to run up and down the field for the entire game. Running track has also given her confidence on the track as well as on the soccer field. 

According to the coach, she’ll occasionally use Cronin in other events to help the team out.

“She has been on the team now for a couple of years and this year has definitely shifted into a leadership role,” Keady said. “She will do whatever is needed to help us out. She can do the 300 or move up to the 1000 and I feel confident putting her in various events.”  

Taking part in the 600 this season, the junior has continually found herself in the top 3 of each meet, with the majority of her finishes being the first to cross the finish line. Cronin also runs the anchor leg of the 4x4 relay as she loves chasing people down.

Having some talented runners on the track team, Cronin believes that Norwood just doesn’t have enough girls to be successful.

“We have about 30 girls on the team, which is just not enough to allow us to win on a regular basis,” Cronin said. “There just doesn’t seem to be enough interest in track; girls come out each year for the team and soon after just quit and never come back.”

Although she is talented on the track, Cronin seems to still prefer soccer. She feels more involved on the soccer field as it is much more enjoyable because track is all on your own and the fans don’t come out to watch track like they do soccer. While she enjoys playing defense on the soccer field for the Mustangs, Cronin is still making goals on the track working on getting her 600 time down so she can take her talents to the Sectional Meet in the event.