WRITTEN BY MICHAEL C. GARAY
SFC Freshman runner, Chantalle Blundell definitely picked the right sport. But the finish line was not always clear.
Originally from Brush Prairie, Washington, Blundell had very little interest in running until her teens.
“I began running when I was a 9th grader. I didn’t really enjoy running until my sophomore year of high school,” said Blundell.
That enjoyment has presumably translated into an operational formula for her success.
Blundell has been successful running her first two meets in a blue and red uniform.
In the Nassaney Women’s College 5K last Saturday, she managed a 38th placing out of 110 runners with a time of 19:22.7. In her debut at the 4K Monmouth Invitational, she placed 17th of 88 overall with a time of 15:32.7.
So, just who is this Blundell pacing the Terriers women’s cross country team? Well, let’s start off with a raving introduction by Head Coach Kyle Brown as he marveled over Blundell’s quick adjustment to the Division I competition.
“I have big expectations for her. She’s hard working which is evident in her good times,” said Brown. “She continues to work at her craft and impress.”
According to Brown, Blundell is just beginning to showcase how valuable of an asset she is by creating an atmosphere of winning.
“She has a certain quality about her. She creates this atmosphere that makes the rest of the team want to do well,” said Brown.
It’s clear that she’s determined and motivated even with the major leap from high school competition to the a Division I athletic program. Sometimes for a freshman, whether it’s in the classroom or on the field, adjustments can be taxing to grasp especially when there is a demand for results right here and now. Blundell seems up for the challenge.
Perhaps the biggest side note of her story is how far she travelled to come to Brooklyn Heights. Being uprooted from her home on the west coast and into her new digs here in New York City has been a bit of a challenge and adjustment.
“The team has been great,” said Blundell. “I really like our practices. NYC is definitely a big change from home and I am used to a quiet place in the countryside. So far I’m enjoying it but it has been an adjustment.”
The adjustment period has been eased substantially by the welcoming reception of her teammates who have made it easier on her.
“I was nervous coming to a new place and a new team,” said Blundell. “The team was really open to me so that was a good way to start the season off and the school year.”
Being that she is the one of the newest chips in the SFC’s running system, there are the obvious tags attached to a runner with such gifts. Despite this fact, Blundell keeps her eyes on what is important.
“Being considered a highly touted runner I consider a great compliment, but I mean I just go out and run because I love it,” said Blundell. “I want to work hard to improve myself. My performance is going to be based on if I am staying healthy, taking care of my body and working hard.”
But the youngster is taking things in stride. She is aware of the obvious challenges. Blundell knows what areas she needs to improve on and is ready to tackle each hurdle with grace.
“Running in college is a lot more competitive than high school. It is more time consuming, which I expected. This season so far I have encountered some of the toughest workouts. I want to improve and become a stronger, more established runner,” said Blundell.
As Blundell improves, so will the entire terriers track program.