By | Keaundrey Clark
On the track’s first 400 meters, she gets her foot stepped on. She looked down and felt her shoe was coming off. Moments later kicks her shoe off. There was no turning back at that point.
This is how Junior Tatiana Gillick’s afternoon was spent during the NCAA Cross Country National Championships. Gillick who faced a number of hurdles and obstacles throughout the season, had to face one more, but she didn’t let that stop her.
Just moments into the National Championships another runner stepped on Gillick’s shoe and pulled it loose. Gillick kept running as the shoe came off halfway through the first turn, she left it on the course and continued the run.
“Having the fortitude and resilience during the season helped her.” said Cross Country Head Coach Jamie Harris. The toughness and resilience she showed this year was one of the reasons she helped HSU Women’s Cross Country be one of the best in Division Two this season.
Gillick started the season in adverse fashion as she started the season in a boot, suffered a shoulder injury during the season, she also fell during the California Collegiate Athletic Association championship meet.
“She was a unique challenge as a coach because she started the season injured,” said Harris.
Gillick was brought back slowly from injury this year, gradually getting race ready. It took her a few races to get back to the level she displayed last season. She had multiple top 10 finishes this season.
Saturday wasn’t what Gillick was hoping for, but the Junior All-American looks poised to return next season. For her and her teammates she gained expiernces that will her HSU Cross Country next year.
“Don’t let the huge crowds psyche you out,”said Gillick. “You have a chance just like everyone else. Everyone who’s get to nationals, at that point you have the power to get an All-American spot.”
The junior will try for All-American honors next season. HSU Women’s Cross Country hasn’t had a runner receive All-American honors since Bridget Berg in 2011.
“The silver lining is that Tatiana’s a junior, and has next year to aim for the coveted All-American,” said Head Coach Sarah Ingram. “It’s been a valuable experience for her, and the goal for next year is to get the whole team out here.”
Despite completing the 6k race with just one shoe, Gillick crossed the finish line in 22:17.7, good enough for a 79th place out of 247 runners.