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'I'm going to get there no matter what' - Veronica Eder to compete in NCAA cross country Championships
Veronica Eder will compete in the NCAA cross country Championships Saturday, achieving a goal she set as a freshman.
Nov. 15, 2016

By Jeff Shearer

AUBURN, Ala. - Three years have passed between setting a goal and reaching it, but for Auburn senior Veronica Eder, the duration was manageable. As a distance runner, she understands the concept of delayed gratification.

“I just knew it was going to be a lot of hard work,” said Eder, who will compete at the NCAA cross country Championships Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind. “It feels really good. It feels like this hard work and dedication has finally paid off.”

Eder reached her goal by finishing second last week at the NCAA South Regional in Tallahassee, Fla., covering 6K in 20:08, a personal best.

“It was something I wanted to do by my senior year,” she said of advancing to nationals. “I would’ve been happier if I would’ve done it earlier, but I was ready to be in for the long haul.”

Eder says most freshmen arrive with similar aspirations.

“You’re kind of unsure how hard it’s going to be,” she said. “That freshman year, it hits you with reality that this is a lot more work than you think.”

As a sophomore, Eder’s cross country season regressed.

“One of the most rewarding things is I was able to turn that around,” said Eder, who likened her comeback to “crawling out of a trench.”

Eder credits Auburn cross country coach Mark Carroll for helping her peak at the optimum time by urging Veronica to “save it for the race.”

“That’s pretty much all his doing,” Eder said. “He has so much experience. As you’re getting closer to big races, he always warns against doing too much the week of the race.” Eder normally runs 65 to 70 miles per week. She’s cut that back to about 40 miles in the weeks leading up to Regionals and NCAAs.



With a top 40 finish Saturday, Eder would earn All-America honors. “I think that’s definitely possible,” she said.

Eder will travel to Indiana on Thursday, then run the course on Friday to become familiar with the terrain, similar to a practice round for a golfer.

“I’ve never been to this course, so it’s always good to check it out,” she said.

Even during seasons when Eder’s times were not what she wanted, her confidence did not waver.

“The thing that always kept me going is that I always knew I could do it, and I never went away from that,” she said. “I always knew deep down that I’m going to get there no matter what.”

Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:

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