Western's Trevellyan continues strong after break from competition
Oct. 14, 2005
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - A break from competition has proven therapeutic for Western Washington University cross country runner Laura Trevellyan.
Now Trevellyan, a two-time All-American, is looking for another top three finish in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships on Oct. 22 at Bellingham. She was second in last year's league race and third in 2003.
A senior from Vashon (graduate of Vashon Island High School), Trevellyan was in Mexico from January to June as part of her studies program through Western's Fairhaven College.
While there, Trevellyan lived with a host family in Moralia, located approximately three hours northeast of Mexico City. In addition to working on her Spanish, she studied the culture, history, language and politics of the country and volunteered in an orphanage.
"I've always had an interest in other cultures," Trevellyan said. "The trip wasn't necessarily about going down to `help the poor.' I don't like to think of it as that because they're just so rich in many ways."
Although she found time to run frequently, the trip also provided Trevellyan with a respite from competition.
"Running is always on my mind for my mental well-being," she said. "But in Mexico, it wasn't necessarily about racing. It was a really good break mentally from competition."
For the most part.
Trevellyan participated in several road and track races, the most memorable of which occurred during the second week of her stay. When Trevellyan arrived at the track, she asked the coach of a local running club how long the race would be.
"Dos y media," she heard the coach say.
"I thought `two-and-a-half laps - this is going to be fast,' " Trevellyan said. "So I get out there and give it all I have and start booking it. The altitude was really high and my lungs were burning and my legs were about to fall off."
Coming around the turn on the last lap, only one woman stood between Trevellyan and first place. She passed her, crossed the finish line and slowed down, pleased with her victory.
But then observers yelled at her to run 10 more laps. The coach had actually said "Doce y media," - 12-1/2 laps.
Now back home and certain of the race lengths, Trevellyan has continued to be among the top runners in NCAA Division II. She has three top-10 finishes in four races this fall.
"She was training while she was gone, so being away didn't hurt her running, and that shows," said Western coach Pee Wee Halsell. "I think she matured in life as well as in running."
Looking ahead, Trevellyan hopes to qualify for a third straight trip to nationals in Chino, Calif. on Nov. 19. She placed 21st at the NCAA II Championships in 2003 and 22nd last year.
"I was never sure what was going to happen in Mexico, if I was going to lose the spark for competition," Trevellyan said. "But I think it helped a lot. Being away from competition for awhile kind of makes you hungry for it again."
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