By Michelle Watson
According to Alana Enabnit, a former Clear Lake High School cross country runner who now runs for Wartburg College, it takes a lot of work and dedication to be a collegiate athlete.
“I love what I do everyday, and you have to in order to truly get the most out of your student athlete experience. Running in college requires you to have a passion for training, improvement and team,” said Enabnit.
The training and dedication have definitely paid off for
Enabnit. She was recently named Iowa Conference’s Female Athlete of the Week and top weekly performer in women’s cross country.
“I felt very honored to be named Female Athlete of the Week, as there are so many great athletes in the IIAC,” said Enabnit. “My number one goal in running has always been to make sure that I praise God with every stride I take and glorify Him for giving me the ability to run.”
Enabnit, a sophomore, won the women’s individual title and was named the IIAC’s Most Valuable Runner at the 2012 Iowa Conference Cross Country Championships, held Oct. 27, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She completed the six-kilometer Noelridge Park course in 21:24.06 for her third individual victory in six races this season.
She proved to be the best that day by topping the second place opponent by eight seconds. She was over one minute ahead of the rest of the field outside the top three finishers. Enabnit, who is the daughter of Allen and Kristi Enabnit of Clear Lake, took third at last year’s IIAC meet and earned all-conference honors for the second time. She is the fourth Wartburg runner to win the IIAC women’s individual title.
On Saturday, Nov. 10, she helped her team to win its second consecutive and 10th overall Central Regional Championship. Enabnit placed second at the Regional Championship with a time of 21:37.8.
Among the Wartburg Knight’s other successes include a new program record at the IIAC meet when all seven runners earned All-Conference honors on their way to their second-straight IIAC crown. In addition, Head Coach Steve Johnson was named the Women’s Coach of the Year for the 27th time in his career.
With the second consecutive Iowa Conference title and the 13th overall win, the Knights’s moved to the number nine spot in the United States Track and Field and Cross County Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Top 35 poll.
With the Regional Championship title, the Orange and Black automatically qualified for the NCAA Championship to be held Nov. 17, in Terre Haute, Ind.
“I cannot deny that I have been dreaming about a national cross country title. I believe physically and mentally I am prepared to take on that challenge,” said Enabnit. “I am the fittest I have ever been going into the championship season, and the remaining meets for the year will be about approaching each race with a humble, yet confident attitude.”