2008 Review: Improving Through Perseverance
GOSHEN, Ind. - The 2008 Goshen College women's cross country season was marked by the continued individual success, accolades, and national exposure of Laura Harnish, while on a group level, the Maple Leafs shrugged off injuries as they continued to post improved times throughout the year
Little seemed to be able to stop senior Laura Harnish (Flanagan, Ill.). After her spectacular junior season ended with a fractured foot at the national meet, Harnish returned with a vengeance in 2008.
After teaming with junior Tina Peters (Yellow Springs, Ohio) for their second-straight Hokum Karem title, Harnish went on to defend her 2007 individual title at the Defiance College Invitational. Harnish finished second at the Benedictine Invitational before posting her fastest time of the season (18:55) to take fourth at the Mid-Central College Championships.
Despite another foot injury, Harnish earned her third-consecutive All MCC award, while running to a 130th-place finish in her return trip to Wisconsin for the NAIA National Championships.
As a team, the Maple Leafs took seventh in a very talented field at the MCC Championships, but had several performances in which to build upon. Improvement was the key word for the team as the Leafs continued to post lower times throughout the season.
At the Midwest Collegiate Open, five of Goshen's eight runners cut time off their season-best marks. A month later as the Leafs took on some of the nations best at the NAIA Challenge, 8-of-9 Leafs trimmed their best times of the season. All the while, Goshen was ravaged by injury after injury, rarely giving them a chance to compete at 100 percent.
While Goshen loses the services of senior's Laura Harnish, Rachel Versluis and Tessa Horst, the rest of the Maple Leafs have learned how to persevere and continue to improve.