Athlete of the Week: Indy Reid-Shaw ’17

What She’s Done:

Though the Centennial Conference championship last weekend was the penultimate cross country race of Reid-Shaw’s career, she made it count. The senior from Hillsborough, North Carolina finished 11th overall, earning all-conference honors. With a time of 21:53, she was the first member of the Garnet to cross the finish line. Her stellar performance helped the Garnet lower their average time to to 22:39.9, good enough to secure fourth place at the championship.

What do you like most about being a student athlete?

I love the change of pace each day at 4:30 from studying to getting outside and running. I wouldn’t know nearly as much about the surrounding trails and neighborhoods around Swarthmore if I didn’t explore them each day with my team … I like seeing the training and miles we put in over the summer pay off in our track workouts and races … Athletics is one part of my experience at Swat, but I like that it doesn’t define it, like it might at a Division 1 school. I can also be engaged in other initiatives like environmental clubs.

What is your favorite Swarthmore athletics memory?

That’s a tough one! Perhaps my sophomore year at Indoor Track Conferences on the Distance Medley Relay. I was the last leg of the race – the mile portion – and we were in third or fourth place when I was handed the baton. I was able to patiently inch up to the front pack, and then, started sprinting at the last lap. I caught the other runners off guard, but then a Haverford girl caught back up to me. We were neck and neck, and I ended up snagging gold for our team by a tenth of a second! I hear I get this kind of scary face when I’m competing and that definitely came out that day when it was a matter of our team versus Haverford. That relay split ended up running my fastest mile time.

Do you plan to continue running or competing after college?

It is hard to imagine I’d stop running since I’ve been doing it since seventh grade. I think that I will take a break from competition, however, and just enjoy running for the sake of running. I don’t want to get burnt out. I’d also enjoy playing other sports recreationally. It all depends on where I end up next year, which right now is a big unknown. The nice thing about running, however, is all you need is a pair of shoes, and you’re off!

What is your major, and what influenced you to pursue it?

I created a special major in Environmental Anthropology, and I am minoring in Biology. I have always been interested in environmental issues. Early on, this entailed going down to the banks of my hometown’s Eno River to help collect and identify invertebrates for assessing the water’s health. At Swarthmore, I learned how coupled environmental and social justice can be. I study socioecological systems or human interactions with earth’s resources. I am most interested in ways that humans can adapt to climate change. This led me to summer research in Mongolia where I interviewed livestock herders about changes in their pasturelands over the last 20 years. Running on the Mongolian steppe made for some memorable summer training!

How does it feel being named to an all conference team three years in a row?

It’s an amazing feeling! I remember how excited I was my sophomore year first getting it, and I continue to be so each time. It speaks to my consistency. I am proud to be someone that my teammates and coach can count on each year. Our conference has some of the hardest competition, so I wasn’t at all sure about how this Conferences would end up.

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