Cougar of the Week: Alex Jeannotte

Alex Jeannotte (‘17) has been nursing an injury thus far, but continues to run for Clark Women’s Cross Country. Due to her persistence and dedication, she has served as a good role model for the young and rapidly improving team. She sat down with The Scarlet to talk about her recovery process, the emergence of several first-years, and the team’s sock game.

Photo taken by Julia Schroeder
Photo taken by Julia Schroeder

Scarlet: How is the season going for you so far?

Jeannotte: Right now for me personally I am getting over an injury – it actually hasn’t been figured out quite yet. The injury is that my foot goes numb whenever I run, and we are just trying to figure out why. But besides that, I have been having a good season. A little bit slower times than last year, but I am getting over it. We only really have a couple more meets left in the season. The team, though, is doing very well. There have been a lot of PRs (personal records) this year, which is really common around this time of the season. I am really excited to see everybody get those good times!

Scarlet: How do you find the time to manage a sociology major and find time to practice?

Jeannotte: It’s very difficult, actually. I am feeling a lot of the junior year stress right now especially with midterms, and my time to practice is my time to be with my team and do something that I love to do.

Scarlet: What is the training like this year? Are there any new drills or techniques the team is doing?

Jeannotte: Coach Grey has switched up the days we do our workouts here [at Clark], so instead of doing them Tuesday and Thursday like we regularly would, we’ve been doing them Monday and Wednesday to give ourselves a little more time to recover before the meet. And it shows a lot in people’s PR and the work with [Head Strength and Conditioning] Coach Dan Rotatori has been helping the team to do better. We haven’t been running as many miles as we usually do, which is helping us not get a lot of injuries…In the past, we have gotten a lot of injuries around this time of year. I think I’m basically the only one who is injured on the team right now, which is very good because I would rather be the only one injured than have a team full of injured players.

Scarlet: How do you feel having about having Kyle Sullivan (’15), a familiar face, as assistant coach?

Jeannotte: It is very interesting. A lot of the team is very young because there are not as many returners this year because a lot of people in my grade are studying abroad, so basically it’s only me and the seniors who know Kyle that well. Most of the underclassmen see him as more of a respectable figure…He is a very serious assistant coach.

Scarlet: How do you feel about having so many first-years on the team?

Jeannotte: I love it! It’s nice having people to look after and for me to see them having their freshman year, because I loved my freshman year. It’s rewarding to get to see them grow up!

Scarlet: What has been the hardest meet of the season so far, and why?

Jeannotte: So far, I guess it has been the Worcester City Meet. It’s a very rough course with a lot of hills and looping around the course. It is a lot different from what we are used to. Most meets we are running in the woods with a relatively flat terrain. The course is really terrible in general.

Scarlet: What would you attribute the abundance of PRs this year to?

Jeannotte: Definitely hard work and persistence and a lot of endurance. It’s really hard this time of the year to be keeping up with such good times. You really just gotta keep going with it.

Scarlet: How do you feel about fan turnout this year. Is it better than last year?

Jeannotte: I think the turnout has been pretty consistent throughout the years, which the cross-country team does not hold against the fans; we understand that all of our meets are really far away. Being at the meets though to watch are really invigorating, and once you are done with the race everybody is so excited to be done. Everyone is just very close, it doesn’t matter what team you are on.

Scarlet: Is there anything left in the season that you are looking forward to?

Jeannotte: Definitely the Division Meet; the Division Meet is always my favorite. There are so many teams there and everyone is excited for this to be the last race. For a lot of people, this is their last race ever, so it’s really fun to seen them give it their all and really have fun with it. There are always great times that are run both for men and women.

Scarlet: Kristen Glennie (’18) has noted that you have the best socks on the team. Care to comment?

Jeannotte: Wow, that is some high praise! But right now I think Maddy Doyle (’19) has the best socks on the team or Kristen, because Kristen has these avocado socks. This year I think Kristen has beaten me, but next year I will return with a vengeance!

Scarlet: Entering Clark, what goals did you set for yourself in cross country, and have you accomplished any of them?

Jeannotte: Honestly I didn’t even come to Clark doing cross country. I joined because Kevin Anderson said I looked like a cross country runner. Then I talked to Coach Grey, and he was just really a great person who really influenced me to join, and has been a mentor to me over the years. I didn’t really have a great coach in high school, and Coach Grey really showed me what a great coach was like. For the goals, I have been doing really well and having some great times, but I have plenty of goals that I still want to complete!

Thanks for the interview, Alex!