Athlete of the week: Lily Cridge’s balanced approach leads to state cross country title

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Bishop Chatard High School junior Lily Cridge made sure to pace herself this cross country season.

That made all the difference. Cridge captured the individual state title in 17:32.7 in the 5,000-meter race in muddy conditions Oct. 30 at the IHSAA girls cross country state meet at Terre Haute. Cridge won in dominating fashion, winning by 30.9 seconds over the second-place finisher.

The state title was Cridge’s second. She set a state record in winning the 3,200 meters in 10:03.16 at the girls track and field state meet in Bloomington in June.

“It was a huge blessing to get another state title,” said Cridge, a Geist resident. “I’ve just worked so hard from not being able to race (at last year’s state meet) and not getting to run much of a season last year.”

Bishop Chatard junior Lily Cridge, a Geist resident, won the girls cross country state title Oct. 30. (Photo courtesy of Michael Hoffbauer)

Cridge, who placed eighth as a freshman in the state cross country meet, didn’t run in the postseason last year because of injuries.

“It was just overworking,” Cridge said of the injuries. “I just ran too many miles.”

Cridge was better prepared this season.

“The key to this cross country season was making sure my life was balanced with everything, nutritionally, mentally, physically, happiness,” Cridge said. “That played a huge role. Being able to train with the boys team really helped push me. I trusted my coach and we took it slow, and that worked in my favor as I peaked at the right time when I needed to.”

Bishop Chatard coach Dan Kinghorn said Cridge is a special runner.

“She has an incredible inner drive to be the best and she is not just willing to work hard towards her goals, but she thoroughly enjoys the hard work, and the harder, the better,” Kinghorn said. “It is very satisfying to see all of her hard work paying off for her as it has this season.”

Cridge won sectional, regional and semistate titles.

“I think the farther, the better for me,” Cridge said. “I’m really an endurance-strength athlete. A lot of time distance running is 90 percent mental. I think with that it can get me further. I have the speed in distance rather than in sprints.”

Cridge started running in the Saint Simon the Apostle school program,

“I plan on running in college,” Cridge said. “I don’t know where yet. I think just focusing on what is ahead will be key in that factor. I will love to run professionally one day.”

Cridge said she is considering marathons in the future.

Cridge will compete in the Nov. 14 Nike Midwest Cross Regional in Terre Haute.

“After that, I’ll take some time off and prepare for track season,” she said.

Meet Lily Cridge

  • Hobbies: Cooking and baking, hanging out with friends and family.
  • College plans: Majoring in nutritional science
  • Favorite athletes: Long-distance runner Molly Seidel and steeplechase runner Emma Coburn
  • Favorite subject: Anatomy.
  • Favorite TV Show: “Virgin River.”

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