Emily Bryson ’19 represented Brandeis women’s indoor track in the NCAA Division III national championships on March 11 and placed ninth in the mile run and 14th in the 3,000-meter run.
Going into the meet at North Central College in Naperville, IL, Bryson said that she was excited to participate in the event and was grateful to be there. “My expectations were just to be competitive and enjoy the experience, as it is so hard to make it to NCAAs to begin with, and I really just wanted to have fun and make the most of my experience.”
At the same time, however, Bryson mentioned that her thoughts on the competition, and the prospects of her third All-America honors, were on her mind. “Of course I was also hoping to gain All-America honors in the mile and 3K, and even though I came up just short of that, I’m happy knowing I was much more competitive in the meet this year than I was a year ago.” The progression she showed from last year, where she placed 12th in the mile run, was something she will carry forward into the outdoor track season.
As in all competition, the preparation for Bryson was just as important as the actual event in forming a winning result. For training, Bryson says that she increased her mileage and has been working harder than ever. She also mentioned that her workouts have been harder as she has spent more time as a member of the track team.
According to Bryson, the environment at the national championships was a bit different from the usual meet. “The environment at the meet was definitely more intense than other meets this season, but at the same time it’s such a unique and inspiring atmosphere to be surrounded by some of the best athletes in the nation,” the Brandeis long-distance runner said.
In the mile, Bryson finished with a time of 4:57.02, placing her just four-tenths of a second out of her third All-America honor. For the majority of the first two lengths of the race, Bryson was hovering around fourth or fifth, but she trailed off in an effort to make a push in the final 800 meters.
Later that same day, Bryson competed in the 3,000-meter, in which she was seeded seventh. She started in the inside lane, but was unable to make it into the front pack. Her time of 10:10.35 was still good enough for 14th place.
“I’m disappointed with how the races ended up, but at the end of the day, I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to represent Brandeis at NCAAs, and I look forward to the opportunity to do so again in the future,” she said about her performance.
Bryson will have little time to relax after this meet. Brandeis has its first outdoor meet on Saturday, March 25 at the Bridgewater State University Bears Invitational.
“Heading into the outdoor season, I’ll just be taking this next week nice and easy to recover from the races and then get my mileage back up and start doing more workouts to prepare me for my next races.”