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Sill shines on FGCU’s women’s soccer and cross country teams

In senior Brooke Sill’s first cross country race, she was so far in front of the other competitors that she got lost. Despite the confusion, she got back on track and ended up winning the race.

Sill is far from lost on the cross country team. She finished first at the Stetson Hatter Invite and then fifth at the South Florida Invite the next week. This past weekend, she continued to lead the team by finishing in the top 20 at the Mountain Dew Invite.

“I didn’t expect it (the win) because I didn’t know what it was going to be like or how fast I was going to be able to go,” Sill said. “I started off in the front because I was anxious, so once I was in front, I just wanted to win it. I just kept going. There was lots of adrenaline.”

The lack of experience in cross country has not given Sill a disadvantage. Cross country head coach Cassandra Goodson thinks that it has helped her in competition.

“I think Brooke is a tough competitor. She has never run cross country before but it turned out to be a positive for her. She goes in with no expectations and that is refreshing. She gets along with the girls and I think everybody feels encouraged by her performance.”

Along with her success on the cross country team, Sill also plays on FGCU’s women’s soccer team. Her soccer coaches recommended for her to run cross country. They talked to Goodson and were able to work out the opportunity for Sill.

Goodson set up time trials for some of the girls from the soccer team that were interested in running cross country. Sill was one of the candidates who met the time requirement.

“Brooke ran very good time and she earned her spot on the team,” Goodson said. “Brooke really impressed.”

As a result, Goodson helped Sill create a training program for the summer to get her prepared for the fall. Sill can log 20 hours of practice and playing time a week for both teams. It is essential for her to stay healthy during the season.

“You have to make sure that you take care of your body,” Sill said. “It’s kind of nice because cross country is in the morning and soccer is after that so you can get it all done in the morning.”

The hardest part about being a dual-athlete is the amount of travel Sill has to do for both teams. There are some days when she comes back from a soccer game and has to leave right afterwards for a cross country meet.

Despite the strenuous schedule, Sill is still able to find a happy medium between the two sports. Soccer and cross country are similar in the physical aspect, but each sport requires a different mindset.

“Cross country you don’t have to think as much whereas in soccer you have to be really focused on everything from your touch to who’s coming,” Sill said. “In cross country you just run so it is kind of more relaxing.”

With both seasons coming to an end in November, Sill’s experience as a dual-athlete is helping to prepare her for her future.

“I’m learning a lot about time management and I think that will help me with future jobs,” Sill said. “Obviously I have to juggle homework and travel and practices so that’s nice. It’s teaching me a lot of discipline.”

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