NORTH HALEDON — Kristen Traub was getting ready to head out to college last week and she is hoping to be ready for the grueling running season the second time around.
For Traub, last year was the first time that she participated in cross-country along with indoor and outdoor track and field, all in one season.
At Eastern Christian, where she was an All-Passaic County cross-country runner and track and field first-team member, she would also play basketball every winter. But moving on to Marist University last year, it was all running as a freshman as she ran competitively from September to June.
She had a great season that included being named All Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) in cross-country and being pegged for the Junior Nationals for the Red Foxes in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Traub admitted that she was pretty wiped out when she got done with the USA Track and Field Junior National Championships that took place on June 20 in Iowa.
“At the end of the spring it was a little difficult because my body didn’t handle it,” said Traub, who was also an All New Jersey track and field star.
For an exhausted Traub, it was a great experience at the Junior Nationals. She finished 14th in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:49.72. She was disappointed not making the finals, but it still ended a great frosh season.
“Kristen got clogged up in an extremely tactical race in her heat of the 1,500,” Marist Director of Cross Country/Track and Field Pete Colaizzo said. “She managed the best that she could by shifting gears with the field, but she fell short of her goal of advancing to finals. This experience should serve her well in the future. But for now, it is disappointing for her.”
In only her first season, Traub set the Marist school record in the 1,500 with a time of 4:36.11. She posted the number at an invitational at Stanford University in California.
She added that along with tougher competition in college, there is also another difference.
“There is more of a team atmosphere,” said Traub. “You want to do well for your team.”
With a year under her belt in college, Traub is ready to make several steps in 2013-14. For this fall she is aiming to finish in the top five of the MAAC.
She has been tuning up during the offseason by increasing her mileage per week to 45 to 50 miles from 35 to 40 miles last season.
“I’ve been looking to increase my base for the upcoming season,” she added.