COLUMBUS, Ohio Coming into Ohio State as a freshman, Sarah Foster was poised to have a solid distance career for the Buckeyes.
She was just coming off of a Division II state championship in cross country, a 3,200-meter state title in track and was ready to help the Buckeyes run to a Big Ten title.
But she didn’t expect to suffer three stress fractures over the course of two years, which caused her to redshirt her 2007 cross country and outdoor track seasons and delayed her progression from training for this cross country season.
In spite of all of the setbacks she has encountered at Ohio State, the Milan, Ohio, native is close to regaining her dominance on the course.
“(I’m) 100 percent healthy, not a 100 percent with training yet,” Foster said. “I’m happy with where I’m at. (I’m) not doing as much mileage as I know I need to be doing, but I can’t be right now just because I got injured at the end of track. I had a stress fracture in my femur and so I didn’t start running, like literally running, until the end of July.”
Foster’s latest injury forced her to sit out the first two meets of the season, but she made up for the lost time in her first meet back.
She finished 37th at the Stanford Invitational that weekend and has been the Buckeyes’ No. 1 runner ever since. Foster also recorded a seventh-place finish at the All-Ohio Championships, ran her career-best time in a 6K race with a time of 21:56 at the Pre-NCAA Invitational meet and placed 35th at the Big Ten Championships two weeks ago.
And with one, possibly two meets left to this season, Foster is still keeping her focus in the present.
“I’m just now starting to feel like I’m getting in shape,” Foster said. “But sometimes girls will burnout, but I think I’m just starting to get ready. So I’m excited to see how I can do this weekend. My goal is to be in the Top 25 somewhere. Each week I’ve improved so hopefully I can make a jump this weekend.”
When the 2008 season comes to an end, Foster and the Buckeyes will look to make continual improvements in the future. She said the cross-country team is bringing in a pretty good recruiting class for 2009, and she thinks they might make a jump into the top half of the conference standings.
Even though she is anticipating her team to achieve lofty goals next season, she is placing much higher expectations on herself.
“I expect to be all-conference next year no excuses,” Foster said. “I expect a lot out of myself, but I expect to be there next year. I think I haven’t had a real summer of training yet. I need a summer of training because I’ve always been injured.”
Despite all of the obstacles she has overcome in her collegiate career, Foster is still content with her performance this season.
“(I’m) very happy,” Foster said.” I’m doing better than I did my freshman year. Not much better, but what can you ask for running five days a week? I’m happy with where I’m at.”