By Jett Johnson
Samantha Rosencrants, sophomore women’s cross country runner, has returned to competition after a season- ending car accident that occurred in September of last year. She is glad to be back running again in just a year after needing physical therapy to stand and walk.
“It honestly feels unreal. I’ve had a lot of healing from the hospital to going back home. It’s a very unreal experience,” said Rosencrants.
Austin Selby, head coach of men’s and women’s cross country, is also very glad that Rosencrants is back in competition.
“It’s huge to have her back. I just think back to this time last year after the wreck. We didn’t know whether we would race or not. To have her practicing and competing is great,” said Selby. “She’s good to have around for morale. Even before she was involved in the wreck, she was one of those athletes that gets out there and goes hard with no excuses.”
The process of getting Rosencrants back into running shape was a challenge for not only her but for the whole team.
“It took a lot of work. I had three months of PT, and I was in the ICU for two weeks. They had to get me to start standing and walking again. Coming back, I had workouts such as walking and biking for the day. That has gotten me back in the routine for the team,” said Rosencrants.
Although the physical toll was heavy on Rosencrants, the mental challenge was there as well.
“It definitely strengthened my mental toughness. Even before I came back for this team, it was genuinely very hard. I had a lot of support from my family, but having to withdraw from that semester was very difficult,” said Rosencrants.
Selby was also integral to the rehabilitation process as well.
“We differed with medical professionals for a long time and let them set her comeback. She was very proactive late in the spring getting herself out back running. We started working with her over the summer adding miles, but were gradually adding miles back to her. As long as she’s communicating with us, it’s very easy to make sure we’re taking care of her,” said Selby.
Selby values the team morale that Rosencrants brings to the team, which is a factor they were missing in her absence.
“I think no matter where she goes, she improves morale. We always mention that seeing her back out there is such a big deal. She’s been the team grandma to the freshman that have just come in. That’s a good tradition to take care of everybody,” said Selby.
Selby also has high expectations for the team now that Rosencrants is back in the mix.
“I think it’s gonna be a good year. We will improve in the conference and improve from last year. We had a really good year last year, and now with this year being our swan song to the GMAC, I think we’ll finish even better,” said Selby.
Rosencrants gives Selby high praises for his support while she was unable to compete.
“He’s been a very huge help. Not only has he been supportive but also attentive, meeting me one-on-one plenty of times to encourage me through that process,” said Rosencrants.
The support from her team and family has also been a huge inspiration to Rosencrants.
“They’ve been a huge support. The biggest support in this has been my parents just being there for me at home, but my team has been such a huge rock as well,” said Rosencrants
Abigail Baggot, who was injured in the wreck, is continuing to recover.
“Abby is continuing to recover and she is 100% supported. She’s still on athletic support and she is being allowed to step away for total recovery,” said Greg Ruff.