Before the season started, senior captain Kim Conley had a very good idea how her season would end – by being the first Aggie of the Division I era to qualify for the national championships, she proved herself right.
But her season was more than just the 80th-place finish against a field of 252 at the national championships.
In fact, it was much more than just any of her individual performances.
“She’s a person that epitomizes the balance between striving for individual goals while making sure she’s motivating and holding teammates accountable as well,” head coach Drew Warternburg said.
The Aggies competed at three highly prestigious invitationals this year: Sundodger, Stanford and Pre-Nationals. Conley led the team to top finishes at them all, placing in the top five at both Sundodger and Stanford.
But the important part of the season is championship season. And despite a bad Iliotibial band injury that led to a week of not running, Conley continued to impress.
Though not sure she’d be able to finish – or even start – the race, Conley was able to finish just behind fellow senior Kaitlin Gregg at the Big West Conference Championships to go all-conference.
Two weeks later, her national qualifying performance led the team to a sixth-place finish at the West Regional Championships.
Conley did more than just run fast. She was the team leader, and will leave a lasting impression on the program.
“She is one of the toughest competitors I know,” said Gregg. “We’ve been training partners, teammates and good friends for four years now. I’m happy we got to share this together.“