As most students left campus in May excited for summer, with no plans but to relax and hang out with friends, Hannah Berdahl had one idea on her mind: improve.
The sophomore is already a top runner on Pacific University’s Cross Country team, but she plans on becoming one of the best in the conference.
The All-Region runner spent her summer throughout the back roads of Forest Grove. At least once a week, she would run 14 miles at a time.
Berdahl looks forward to the long runs saying, “It always gets tough but the mental and physical endurance and grit that you build from it is extremely valuable.”
The mental and physical grind Berdahl mentions is what she hopes will lead to her success in the upcoming season. Having already created a presence in the Northwest-Conference, Berdahl has plans to become one of the best runners the school, and her peers, have ever seen.
“My individual goal is to place higher in regionals and place top 5 in conference” says Berdahl, who finished 12th at the Northwest-Conference Championship last season.
While her individual goals rank high, the sophomore runner is most looking forward to being with her teammates again.
“As a team, I want to place first or second in conference,” Berdahl said. “I really think we can do it if everyone is on their game.”
Berdahl’s confidence comes as no shock, as the team finished fourth in the Northwest-Conference invitational and tenth at the West Regional in 2018. Both of these being the highest the Boxers had finished in 15 years. More than anything, Berdahl looks forward to competing and finishing races with her teammates.
“There’s a certain energy that surrounds a group of people when they all have a mutual understanding that they just accomplished something amazing together” Berdahl says.
She adds “All the hard work, pain, time — it all feels worth it and justified. For a brief moment, everyone is relieved and proud to be a boxer”
The drive that fills Berdahl seems contagious, and as long as she is a part of the cross-country team, nothing but success seems ahead for the Boxers.