Another milestone will be on the line on Friday when seniors Maggie Drazba and Amy Cashin compete in their last Mid-Atlantic regionals as WVU will tries to qualify for the NCAA Championships as a team for the first time since 2014.
Drazba and Cashin have been stacking accolades to the ceiling since they arrived in 2013.
Drazba has competed in two NCAA championships, along with a pair of top-15 finishes at regionals and earning All-Big 12 Academic honors every year since she’s been at WVU.
Cashin has competed in one NCAA championship, earning two top-30 finishes at regionals and also being named to the Academic All-Big 12 Team multiple times.
But as seniors this year, they’ve been able to reflect on their time at WVU. Both agreed that they’ve become effective leaders by learning from the seniors when they were freshmen.
"When I was a freshman, I had so many role models on the team," Cashin said. "They really taught me the importance of leading by example, and also making sure you care for one another like family."
"I think they helped with organization and getting into the right mindset before races," Drazba said. "They’ve been there before and know how it is."
The lessons learned and experiences had throughout their five years at WVU translate into what they preach to the younger girls today.
"I really want to make sure I treat all the girls like they’re family," Cashin said. "I just really want to make them feel welcome."
"It’s taught me how to get everyone to work together, and how we need to work together as a team to accomplish our goals," Drazba said. "It’s taught me a lot about communicating with the team, and it’s brought me closer to them I think."
The duo also shared what being a Mountaineer has meant to them personally.
"A lot of ups and downs, but the ups have all been worth it," Drazba said.
"It’s really helped to show me who I am and what I’m capable of," Cashin said. "It’s become a second family here, and I think that makes me sad that this is my last year racing."
"I’ve had a really good time at WVU, and it’s probably the best decision I’ve made in my life," Cashin added.
On Friday, WVU will travel to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Regionals. The Mountaineers will be running the same course on which they won the Lehigh Invitational in their opening meet.
For Cashin, this meet means a little extra.
"Lehigh is a special place to me; it’s where I had my first ever college race," Cashin said. "So, I really want to get a good time out there. I’m hoping I can improve my (personal record) by quite a bit."
Drazba said at the beginning of the season that she wanted to get WVU back to nationals, and she isn’t going back on that statement.
"The main goal is to get to nationals, so, I really hope that we can work together and have our best races on the same day," Drazba said.
Cashin has kept the same objective, and she said that Friday’s race will bring out the best in her.
"I really want to be as competitive as I possibly can, and make sure that when I finish the race, I know that I’ve done everything I possibly could have," Cashin said.
Head Coach Sean Cleary also had high praise for Drazba and Cashin.
"Those two have done an incredible job really nurturing the younger girls," Cleary said. "When it’s all said and done, while they have a few more individual accolades to get, I think they’re going to be remembered for doing their best to leave this program in a good place."
"I give both of those ladies a lot of credit."