How Cross-Country Runner William Su Made it to Championships
By Summer Boulais
William Su, sophomore nursing major, is happy to be back at Walla Walla University after a year of COVID-19. He is on the cross-country team and has been doing exceptionally well this season. Su has been doing cross-country since his sophomore year of high school, and now he has made it to championships in his collegiate athletic career.
Su is making the most of the opportunity to have a season again by making cross-country history. He ran the fastest 8k time in Cougar Classic history, bringing him to be the third fastest 8k time (25:56.0) in Wolves history.  In addition, teammate Justin Corral, junior biology pre-medicine major, placed fifth fastest 8k time for the Wolves (26:05.3).  These record-breaking runs landed both runners a spot at the championships.
Athletes have been pushing through a long year of COVID-19 restrictions to be able to play their sports again. Su trained over the summer to be ready for his cross-country season this year. “It was really exciting being able to compete against other people again,” Su said. 
Several students have been awaiting the chance to see their friends and teammates after being separated due to COVID-19 restrictions. Su explained, “It is really nice being a part of the Wolves team and bonding with them. I feel really close with the cross-country team right now.”  Being back on campus is allowing everyone to come together and bond again, especially in our Wolves teams.
Cougar Classic took place at Washington State University, and according to Su, the race happened fast. “It was the only good race I have had so far,” said Su.  In the following race, Su got boxed in and ran into a pole. He fell on his face and lost his momentum mid-race. He got up and kept going while finishing the race in pain. This is only one example of the highs and lows that can occur in collegiate sports.
The next goal for Su and Corral is to make it to the nationals after the championships. “Justin and I work together really well,” Su stated.  He added that he hopes they can all advance as a team. Another main goal for Su is to remain injury-free so he can continue to make history at the next run.
As the cross-country season is coming to an end, the team is training hard in practice three times a week. They run on their own on the days without practice, along with lifting in the weight room. Su noted that the practices and workouts are getting faster because he and Corral are making a lot of progress.
One way that Su stays motivated when he runs is to repeat Philippians 4:13 in his head. This verse says, “I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me.” WWU does a great job at providing students opportunities to play sports while keeping Christ at the center.
The best memory Su has from this season is bonding with other Wolves while traveling on the bus. Teammates Hector Ruvalcaba, sophomore nursing major, and Maddie Stuart, sophomore biology pre-medicine major, create fun riddles to solve on the bus rides, according to Su.  Making it to championships is an accomplished goal Su will never forget, but the friendships formed with teammates along the way are just as important.
- @theuwolves Instagram, (2021). https://bit.ly/3j2gEyi.
- Interview with William Su, 10/14/2021.