Disappointment can be a huge motivator.
For senior Sophie Goobic, a disappointing junior cross country season led her to make lifestyle changes that impacted her performance and her teams.
Goobic, a native of Canton, New York, battled through nagging injuries during the 2012-13 academic year that forced her to refocus her efforts. “I was focused all summer,” said Goobic. “I wasn’t happy with my performance the season before, so I had worked very hard.”
When she reported to preseason camp in August, Sophie was in the best shape that head coach Briana Hess had ever seen. “When Sophie came to camp, we could tell she was ready to take on the world,” said Hess. “Sophie’s conditioning brought a new energy to our team.”
Hess and her staff had just recruited a talented crop of distance runners to compete for the Student Princes. The women’s cross country team, which had been a middle-of-the-road group for the better part of a decade, now had the talent to compete. The soft-spoken senior stepped up to become the leader.
“Mainly, it was a matter of doing the right things outside of running,” said Goobic, who chose Heidelberg because of the atmosphere and the friendly community. “Going to the training room, proper nutrition and silly things like going to bed on time have had such a big impact. I try to lead by example.”
Goobic’s success was evident throughout the season. After she won the Bluffton Invitational, she was named OAC Cross Country Runner of the Week for the first of three times in 2013. Sophie’s sights, though, were set much higher.
“I wanted to win OACs so I could prove that I could beat those girls,” said Goobic, a Landess Scholar-Athlete Award winner.
Goobic, a biology major with aspirations of becoming an occupational therapist, won the OAC Championship, becoming the second HU harrier to ever win the meet. Kelly Gregg accomplished the feat in 1998.
Along with strong performances from Dani Blum, Shawnda Henault, Allie Dresser, Hayley Cochran and Lorin Conti, the Student Princes ran to a fourth place finish, their best since finishing second in 2000.
Sophie ran extremely well at the NCAA Regional Meet in Grand Rapids, Mich., finishing sixth out of nearly 250 runners. In doing so, she secured a spot at the NCAA Championships on November 23. She is just the third female to qualify for the national meet.
“Making it to nationals was important to me because it validated all of the hard work I had put in since May,” said Goobic. “When you’re in a race, you might look back on all of the repeats you did or all of the times you ran even though you felt lousy. That’s what pushes you forward.”
Goobic needs to crack the top 35 to earn All-American status and if she finishes higher than 88th, she will be the top female finisher in Heidelberg history.