Monroe earns All-American status in NCAA cross country

SAINT LEO, Fla. — With individual titles at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and Atlantic Regional meets, Mifflin County graduate Addison Monroe had high expectations for the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Saint Leo, Florida.

On Saturday, Monroe achieved his goal of becoming an All-American, finishing 32nd nationally at the meet. The Top 40 finishers earn All-American status.

“Being an All-American is probably my biggest athletic accomplishment thus far. It means a lot,” Monroe said.

The meet presented many challenges, including big loops and rolling hills. The weather also was a factor, as the weather in Florida this time of year is much different than the weather in Pennsylvania.

The race started at 8:30 a.m. in an attempt to beat the heat, but the effects were still felt by the runners.

“About halfway through the race it felt like it was 90 degrees,” Monroe said. “The weather was a shock compared to Pennsylvania.”

The weather presented challenges for Monroe. With less than a mile to go in the race, Monroe found himself in 18th place. Monroe than started to experience cramps, but held on to finish in the elite group.

“Initially I was upset with my race. I cramped up with like I never have before and fell off pace rapidly,” Monroe said.

However, as he looks back at the race, he is happy with the finish.

“I know I was capable of finishing near the Top 10, but either way I held on for my first All-American finish which I need to be happy about,” Monroe said

Monroe also expressed his happiness in participating at nationals.

“The experience running at nationals this year was far better than any nationals race I have been to,” Monroe said. “I had a blast in Florida and the atmosphere at the race was amazing. So many runners and so many fans.”

With nationals and the cross-country season under his belt, Monroe now shifts his focus to the indoor and outdoor track seasons. The indoor season for Monroe will start in two weeks. With the start of that season, Monroe has a few goals in mind.

“I’d like to qualify for indoor nationals, which would not be an easy task. After my first indoor race, I will take some much needed time off, as it has been a very long cross-country season,” Monroe said.

Monroe and the Lock Haven University track-and-field team will start the indoor season at the Bison Opener at Bucknell University on Dec 2.