Photo courtesy of CSUSM Athletics
Renee Laurenzana is a redshirt junior on the women’s track and field and cross-country teams, majoring in biological sciences-physiology. Laurenzana says the team is a motivation for her to train and to improve. She was named Runner of the Week by the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) on Sept. 6. Laurenzanna dedicates herself to the sport of running and improving her skills to achieve victories and is happy to train with her team.
How do you feel about getting to play this season after the pandemic?
I am happy to finally compete and have a team alongside me. These past three and half years, throughout the whole shutdown, I trained mostly alone and could barely keep myself motivated.
I met with my coach to talk about the training on Zoom. Nevertheless, I needed to get up and train by myself. I also kept myself motivated despite not having competitions or races. Now, it feels nice to have people to train with and see everyone face-to-face instead of on the screen.
What goals do you have for yourself this season?
Now, I know I am improving and hope to keep moving on because this is all I want: running faster. Staying healthy -physically and mentally- is important because the stress from school and life gives me pressure. Yet, I hope to get to know my teammates more because some of them I only know from Zoom, so I want to meet those I did not meet in person before.
Competition-wise, I want to do well in conferences and regionals and make internationals one day, hopefully as a team. The women’s team missed by one spot last time, so I hope we can do that this year.
How is the team dynamic now that everyone is back?
As a team, we are all very happy and grateful to get together. All of us, as I said, were struggling with motivating ourselves. Now, the team is very positive. I had noticed it before, but now I am grateful that we are back and training with the whole team instead of by ourselves every day. The coach is with us, so we are overjoyed to be together.
What’s the best part of being a part of the CSUSM cross country team?
I will say it’s the people. Everyone is happy to be there. We all have tough days, but I think that although we are all different people and come from different places, we all come together for a common goal and help each other out: we all want to do well and push each other to be our best. I can think of my coach and my teammates that they are nice and they are good. I am glad that I have people around me to motivate me to be my best.
For information on the women’s cross country team’s future meets, please visit https://csusmcougars.com/sports/womens-cross-country/schedule.