Cross-country senior ready to continue success

Rock Athletics

Senior Janine Powis runs during a meet last season. Powis has been All-Region and All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference twice, and qualified for the PSAC Championships nine times. Powis placed 20th in last year's PSAC Championships.

Brian Hepfinger, Sports Editor
September 4, 2014

Slippery Rock University women’s cross-country runner Janine Powis is looking to improve on what has already been an impressive career.

Powis is a senior from Telford, Pa., and has been running since she was in the eighth grade.

“I realized my love for running in 10th grade track, when I won the district title in the 1600,” Powis said. “That is also when I knew I wanted to run in college.”

In Powis’ first season in 2011, she placed in the top 10 at the Mack Cooper Classic. She then placed in the top 25 in both the Lock Haven Invite and the SRU invite. She also placed 43rd at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championships, and then placed 37th at the Atlantic Regional Championships.

“I would say that I have steadily improved since I’ve joined the Slippery Rock team in running, but also in getting stronger physically and mentally,” Powis said.

Powis has numerous accolades in both track and cross-country, but in cross-country last season she placed 33rd place overall (second SRU runner) in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Championships, and also placed 20th place overall (first SRU runner) in the PSAC Cross-Country Championships.

“It always feels good to qualify for the PSAC and regionals, and then last year when I earned All-PSAC, it was definitely a boost in confidence,” Powis said. “That helped me improve as a runner by knowing what I can do and go from there to do even better this year.”

Powis has qualified for the PSAC Championships in track as well, including a second place finish in the 800-meter. She has earned both the All-Region and ALL-PSAC honor twice, and has also qualified for the PSAC nine times. 

Powis said that while it’s hard for her to choose which sport she enjoys more, track is above cross-country.

“I would have to say track has always been the sport I enjoyed more,” Powis said. “It’s hard to say which one is harder, though, because they both have their different difficulties. In cross you get all the hill workouts and then in track it’s more speed work for me.”

SRU head coach John Papa said that not only does Powis have a great deal of talent, she is a also a good leader.

“Janine is our top returner from last cross-country season,” Papa said. “She has a great deal of running experience and she sets a good example for the other runners on the team.”

Papa said Powis’ success in cross-country isn’t only attributed to her talent.

“Janine is successful because she has the ability and talent to be an outstanding runner in our conference,” Papa said. “In addition to the talent, Janine has the work ethic to develop her natural ability and she has the right attitude and mentality that it takes to be a successful distance runner.”

Papa said he is looking for Powis to have another great season.

“We expect Janine to continue to improve as a runner and for her to repeat her All-PSAC Conference performance from last season,” Papa said. “I feel that Janine is capable of a repeat All-PSAC performance and an All-Atlantic Region finish as well this season.”

Even though Powis has already qualified for so many meets, she still wants to improve as a runner.

“This season, my goal is to improve my place at the PSAC conference as well as be all-region,” Powis said. “I want to get stronger, increase my mileage, and improve my machine.”

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