Excitement runs rampant for coaches, student-athletes

Jeremy Monroe
Contributing Writer

The summer was fun, but it’s time to get back to the grind.
While traditional students may have trouble juggling classes with work and extracurricular activities, it is harder for the student-athlete. For coaches, the summer and school year is full of recruiting and preparing for the season.
Track and field and cross-country Head Coach Jenny Severns is no exception.
A native of Flint, Mich., Severns is in her second year with Murray State.
“I was really excited about the facilities and the administration was willing to give us everything we needed to be a successful program,” she said.
“I’m really excited for both seasons.” Severns said. “We have so many new people looking awesome already and the returners that we have look great.”
The offseason was crucial in recruiting for both sports, and two-thirds of the team is brand new.
“In cross-country we have a pack of eight,” she said. “On any given day, someone different could be our No. 1.”
Because five of the eight student-athletes are brand new, Severns said it will be interesting to watch them compete.
Severns said she is impressed with senior Christina Johnson from Houston, Texas, who will compete in the 400-meter sprints, exactly one loop around the track, this season.
“I’m most excited to see how we do this season,” Johnson said.
Johnson is majoring in exercise science and pre-physical therapy.     After college, she is considering physical therapy school or even becoming a coach herself.
Senior Bridget Stichnot, a math major from Lexington, Ky., will be running the 5K and 10K this season.
“We have a lot of talent this year,” Stichnot said.
She said she is really excited for this season, along with everyone else. After college, Stichnot would like to work in an athletic department at a university.
“You either have a good day, or you don’t.” Severns said. “In cross country and track and field, most of the meets are preparing for the big ones like the OVC and Regionals.”
Severns, Johnson and Stichnot were asked to share one thing people may not know about them:
“I’ve shot a deer hunting,” Coach Severns said.
“Coach Severns says that I’m a pretty good cook,” Johnson said.
“My toenails frequently fall off,” Stichnot said.
The cross-country team runs its first meet on Sept. 3 at the Memphis Invite in Memphis, Tenn.
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