On Friday, August 30, first-year Alosha Southern, of Wilton, Connecticut, won her first collegiate cross country meet with a time of 15:39.47 in the four-kilometer Grinnell Triangular.  Although her time was almost five seconds faster than the second place finisher, the Pioneers ultimately lost the meet in a tiebreaker to Cornell College.  The next home cross country meet, the Les Duke Invitational, will take place on Saturday, September 14.

Alosha - Mary Zheng

When did you first start running?

I’ve been running for a long time. I started in fifth grade. My town had a youth cross country program. I carried on with it through high school and now I’m here.

 

What do you like about cross country?

I like that even though it’s a team sport, it’s very individually focused. You can get into your head and zone out. I prefer it over running track because you get to go places rather than just running in circles.

 

What do you eat before you run?

I used to always eat grapes before I ran because they have a lot of sugar in them. But I’m not superstitious and I don’t really get that nervous. I don’t have a routine that I stick to.

 

What is the weirdest experience you’ve had while running?

Once, I was running during our season opener in high school and I had really bad blisters on my feet. It was a really low-key race, the other team wasn’t very good, and I was going up this hill called “the Beast,” which is hard to run up, so I stopped and took off my shoes in the middle of the race. A group of boys thought I was losing my mind, but then I just kept on running.

 

What is your fantasy of a best race?

I think I have the best races when I’m angry. So, maybe another girl would try to trip me and then I’m behind and then I would have to catch up and I would beat her and win.

 

Why did you choose to go to Grinnell?

I applied here because my uncle went here. I really liked how cozy it felt and how close the community is. I wasn’t really sure I wanted to run, but now I’m glad I did because the team is great and super supportive.

 

What other activities do you plan to do at Grinnell?

I’m definitely interested in doing the Prison Program and I also want to do some work in the darkroom. I took a photo class in high school and I really enjoy the physical act of exposing the pictures. And I might want to write for the school paper, as well.