Shannon O'Connell

[Shannon runs at Colby-Sawyer College. See her interview from last year for more. She often runs with Victoria Lombardi (on left).]


Camp was set up differently this year, as is most of everything in the world right now. Even though it was different I felt like I wasn't missing anything in my program. Most days it was just Victoria and me running together and we would start around 7:30 so we could get our run in before doing drills with the high school cross country group. Every day we had to sign a waiver and come and go wearing a mask. Coach Braz and Coach Pete did a really good job at making sure we were socially distanced when we were doing things like core, hurdle drills, etc.

My mileage increased about 10-15 miles a week from what I was doing last summer so that was the biggest adjustment. Obviously one of the biggest things now is just trying to stay healthy by being smart about social distancing and following all of the guidelines set by the state. I focused on strength work more than last summer and I've really seemed to notice how much it helps my running. With increasing my mileage I've just been trying to eat enough and have a well balanced diet so I feel like I have enough energy to support all the working out I have done. I'm still working on forcing myself to slow down some days, but I've figured out that taking your easy days easy is the best way to feel good on the harder effort days.

I think my favorite part is all of the drills that we do after. Coach Braz is really good at making difficult core and band sessions that leave me feeling like I just got a really good workout in. It definitely hurts in the moment, but they make me work harder than I would on my own. Also having friends to run with gives me a boost of motivation on days that I'm feeling tired or sore. I was just happy that camp could happen this year because it made the world seem a little more normal.

I found out my league canceled fall and winter sports through 2020 during the middle of camp. I was upset because I feel like this has been my strongest summer training yet. My freshman cross country season went super well, but I dealt with an achilles injury that took me out from being able to seriously compete during my indoor season. I really wanted this cross country season to be my comeback to set new PR's and hopefully qualify for NCAA nationals.

I like being competitive with running, but it is also my way to de-stress and clear my mind so I didn't plan on stopping just because my college season was canceled. I was still really glad to go to camp camp every day despite not knowing much that was going on with my season and still continued to go after it was canceled. I'm hoping to find some races that I can run unattached in just to see where my fitness is at and how fast I can run. Despite not having a season I still trained like I was going to have one and I feel confident with my abilities right now.



XC Edge Athletes

Interview Home

Summer 2020 - click here
- Caroline Johnson, Marblehead HS, Sep. 2020
- Shannon O'Connell, Colby-Sawyer College, Sep. 2020
- Victoria Lombardi, Stonehill College, Sep. 2020
- Emily Ernst, Essex North Shore Tech, Sep. 2020
- Rachel Brennan, Gordon College, Sep. 2020
Sean Kay, Arlington Catholic, Oct. 2019
Shannon O'Connell, Colby-Sawyer College, Oct. 2019
Riley Dowd, Stonehill College, Sep. 2018
Kate Mitchell, Boston Collge, Aug. 2018
Nadja Ueckert-LaPlante, Ipswich HS, Dec. 2017
Marissa Farago, Triton HS, Apr. 2017
Anthony Pizzo, AIC, Dec. 2016
Matt Loehle, UConn, Dec. 2016
Emily DeMarco, Ipswich HS, Apr. 2016
Sarah Oliver, Marblehead HS, Jan. 2016
AJ Ernst, Marblehead HS, Dec. 2015
Abby Walsh, Beverly HS, Dec. 2015
Sydney Packard, Bishop Fenwick HS, Dec. 2015
Griffin Barriss, Melrose HS, Dec. 2015
Tia Patterson, Boston College, Dec. 2015
Thomas Mackin, Lynn Classical HS, Dec. 2015
Riley Dowd, Stonehill College, Nov. 2015
Emily Weigand, American University, Nov. 2015
Connor Wolff, Stonehill College, Nov. 2015
Lexi Buonfiglio, Stonehill College, Nov. 2015
Victoria Holleran, St John, Peabody, Mar. 2015
Abby Walsh, Beverly HS, Dec. 2014
Riley Dowd, Peabody HS, Dec. 2014
Sarah Oliver, Marblehead HS, Dec. 2014
Tia Patterson, Lynnfield HS, Nov. 2014
Emily Horgan, Univ. of Vermont, Nov. 2014
Arianna Maida, Bishop Fenwick HS, Sep. 2014