Ashby adds another sport to her agenda

by David A. Bumpus / Beacon Staff • September 10, 2015

Ashby in her cross country uniform practicing for her main sport.
Ashby in her cross country uniform practicing for her main sport.

Eastin Ashby felt that running around a 94-foot-long basketball court for 40 minutes wasn’t enough for her, so she decided to take on an additional 3.1 miles for her preseason. 

The sophomore journalism major joined the cross country team this fall, adding to a workload that already included a spot on the Lions’ basketball team. 

Ashby, who ran cross country and track in high school, said that she didn’t join the team last fall to avoid conflicts with the basketball season. She instead played tennis to help supplement the team’s low roster numbers. 

“I wanted to focus mainly on basketball,” Ashby said. “My parents and my cross country coach were mad at me that I didn’t do cross country, so they said just to try it and see what happens this year.” 

Ashby said that one concern about running cross country is that it could affect her speed on the court. Ashby decided to run anyway, while also lifting weights and playing basketball on the side.

“They’re two totally different conditionings because for cross country, you’re trying to go for distance and trying to save everything and pace yourself. For basketball, it’s sprints,” Ashby said. “I just have to balance the two.”

Cross country head coach John Furey said that Ashby is a solid addition to the team and has been dividing her time nicely between the two sports.

“She does well with it because she’s physically and mentally tough and she likes to train. It’s good for her,” Furey said. “She’s intense, focused, and she’s a serious athlete.”

Ashby said that, while the two sports’ fundamentals are opposites, both cross country and basketball bring out the same feeling.

“I love the adrenaline rush you get standing on the line waiting for the gun to go off, but it’s the same thing with basketball,” Ashby said. “I’m an adrenaline junkie, so I want to go on all of the big roller coasters when we go to theme parks. I like waiting for them to throw the jump ball, just the adrenaline that comes with it.”

Junior visual and media arts major Savannah Hubbard, the captain of the women’s cross country team, said she was impressed with Ashby, specifically with their first encounter at practice.

“We had a team long run and she finished almost first out of the entire team,” Hubbard said. “I can only imagine what she’ll do during competitions.”

In the team’s first meet of the season at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Ashby placed fourth, the third fastest Lion in the race at 21:49. 

Hubbard said that the talent side of the equation wasn’t the only positive Ashby brought to the team.

“She’s super friendly, and she knows how the team dynamic works because she’s already on [the basketball] team,” Hubbard said. “That definitely helps that she’s able to open up and be friendly with everybody.”

Ashby said that she doesn’t have any major goals for this season except for working hard and preparing for the upcoming basketball season.

“I’m just going to give 100 percent all the time,” she said, “and we’re going to see how it goes.”

 

 

 

 

Assistant sports editor Hannah Miller, who is a member of the women’s cross country team, did not contribute to this article.