Ohio State women’s cross-country junior Meredith Wagner returned this season after missing her sophomore year due to injury and is having her best season yet.
After sitting out last season, Wagner said she is happy to be back with her team and the Buckeyes’ new coach, Khadevis Robinson .
“I was really excited to be back because cross-country is my favorite,” Wagner said. “It was good to have new girls and everyone back.”
The Sylvania, Ohio, native earned All-Big Ten honors this week after finishing 12th at the Big Ten Cross Country Championships with a 6-kilometer time of 20:41 in East Lansing, Mich., on Sunday.
“I was happy but I wanted to be in the top 10,” Wagner said. “I didn’t exactly reach my goal, but I was still happy.”
Robinson credited Wagner’s honors to her dedication and focus from practice to meets.
“She has been running extremely well all year. She has been dedicated and she has been doing the small things as far as taking care of her body,” Robinson said. “She has focused on her workouts and I think she can run faster and better.”
Sophomore teammate Michelle Thomas said Wagner deserved the honors she received this week because of her dedication to the sport.
“Meredith is such a good runner and a very strong person,” Thomas said. “She works really hard and she keeps her goals in her mind when she is training. She always goes 110 percent at practice and gives it everything she has in order to achieve her goals.”
Even though Wagner placed 12th on Sunday, Robinson said he projected the junior to make it into the top 10.
“We really thought she would make it to the top 10 but that heel really got to her,” Robinson said. “She was pretty much in the top-10 spot the whole length of the last 40 or 50 meters.”
Besides her All-Big Ten performance this week, the junior also had a personal-best 6-kilometer time of 20:35 earlier in the season at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational on Oct. 12.
Wagner attributed her personal-best time to being in shape and listening to her coach.
“My coach said I could do it,” Wagner said. “I didn’t think I could at first but once I did, it proved that I am in shape and that I can do it.”
Wagner and the Scarlet and Gray are set to race at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Nov. 9 in Madison, Wis.