The spirit of a fighter and the heart of a champion.
These are what define Molly Lodge every time she steps foot on the track.
A graduate of Woodstown High School, the current freshman’s inspiration for joining track was simple: to stay physically fit. It was this small goal that transformed into a life of running.
“As I did it more and more, I fell in love with running and competing and everything about it,” Lodge said. “I got involved with sprinting because that’s what I was naturally drawn to. I’ve always liked to run fast so when given the option between the 200 meter or the 2 mile the choice was easy.”
After soaring to the top of her high school squad, it was only natural that she would continue to take flight after being recruited to Rowan University by Coach Derick “Ringo” Adamson. Lodge has relished in this opportunity to gel with the rest of this team, battling against whatever challenges come her way.
“The best thing about track is the friends I’ve made on the team,” Lodge said. “The toughest thing is trying to balance my engineering schedule with track activities. Having a night class every single night is not fun.”
In spite of this adversity, Lodge has broken out in a big way, with signature performances throughout the season with the most notable of which came in this year’s New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship. Though her experience is rather limited, her composed mindset is one of a kind.
“I stay calm when racing by relying on the fact that I’ve trained as hard as I can and that I know I have the base to do well in whatever I’m running,” Lodge said. “I also like to get into the mindset of ‘why not me?’ to win, which allows me to have some inner confidence when I’m feeling like maybe a race won’t go my way.”
For most athletes, this type of mentality is developed over the course of many years. To possess and utilize this positive attitude already in year one gives Lodge a distinct competitive edge over the field. In fact, she takes full advantage of this edge prior to every meet.
“I like to keep race day pretty light because I will get in my head if I psych myself up too much,” Lodge said. “I love to listen to my meet day playlist I have on the bus ride and chat with my teammates and coaches during warm up.”
What is often neglected in track is the importance of recovering between meets. Some runners think they can sprint forever, leading to irreversible wear and tear. Luckily for Lodge, her strict regiment allows for valuable preparation throughout the week.
“I love the ice bath,” Lodge said. “I get in the ice bath as much as I can leading up to race day… As for training, I like to keep doing exactly what we’ve been doing all season, which is to run our last hard workout two to three days before and take the last day to work on strides and starts and things of that nature. I will admit that I always need to race in my white headband for some superstitious luck.”
While Lodge is a tad bit superstitious, the writing is certainly on the wall for her success to continue multiplying over the course of her career. Having already secured a 4×400 title in the NJAC and a second place finish in the 60 meters at that same event for the indoor season, the plan for Lodge is simple: run up those numbers.
“My goal for my track career is to help our team get to a point where we are the ones winning NJACs every year,” Lodge said. “I’d also love to make nationals along the way. I guess when I graduate I’d like to be able to call myself an NJAC winner and NCAA qualifier. But until then, one race at a time.”
One race at a time. A formula that has served the Profs extremely well over the course of this season, and has done wonders for freshman Molly Lodge. While others are working to develop merely their good habits, Lodge is lapping her peers in every sense imaginable.
For comments/questions about this story tweet @TheWhitSports.