Gasmund finds escape in Guilford cross country team

Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 7:11 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - It’s never easy adjusting to a new school, but Guilford cross country runner Michelle Gasmund is fitting in just fine with the Vikings.

“She’s always been pretty talented.”

Guilford head coach Rick Durso is getting his first real look at Gasmund.

It’s her first year running with the Vikings after the sophomore transferred from East.

“She jumped right in and blended in with the team," said Durso. "She’s a team player, she supports all of her runners and she’s coach-able. She lets us direct her and she trusts us with her fitness.”

Gasmund has been running since the third grade and Durso says he’s known of her from the running community.

“She knew at a young age, the talent she had," Durso said. "The potential she had.”

“It’s been different with a new coach, but he’s been really chill with me," said Gasmund. "He doesn’t overwhelm me with all this stuff.”

That may be the key to her success. With Rockford Public Schools going to a hybrid learning environment, the sophomore says running has been an escape.

“It’s really important, just to know that I can go online and do school and if I’m struggling with that, you get to come to school and practice with my team," Gasmund said. "It just takes my mind off everything.”

Gasmund says she’s thankful to have across country season when others are missing out on their fall sport.

“I’ve learned that just because something is setting you back, doesn’t mean you still can’t train,” said Gasmund.

And with the NIC-10 meet less than a month away, she’s just going to keep on running.

“I’m just going to try and work hard at practice everyday, each week, get faster and have fun with it.”

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