Maggie Drazba’s is hoping to make her last season wearing the blue and gold count.
The West Virginia native is entering her senior season with a long list of accolades already. Drazba owns three top-20 finishes at the Big 12 Championships, two top-15 finishes at regionals, earning her two All-Mid-Atlantic first team honors and two NCAA Championship appearances; where she finished 91st overall in 2014 and 58th in 2016.
Drazba also picked up her first collegiate win last Friday when she won the Lehigh Invitational, which earned her this week’s WVU Student-Athlete of the Week.
But for this season, Drazba has her eyes on getting WVU back to the NCAA Championships.
"The biggest goal for this season is to qualify for the national meet as a team," Drazba said. WVU hasn’t been to the NCAA Championships as a team since her freshman season.
The Mountaineers have the talent to take it all the way this year. The team’s dominance was on full display during the Lehigh Invitational, when the first four runners to cross the finish line were all Mountaineers.
Drazba also hopes her championship-level experience will come in handy for her in 2017.
"I think having the experience of competing against the top runners in the country and being in a race where you have a ton of people around you will really help," Drazba said.
Her 2016 championship race was touted as her most impressive performance as a Mountaineer.
"Maggie ran a fantastic race. This was without a doubt the best race of Maggie’s WVU career," head coach Sean Cleary told WVUSports.com in an interview after last season.
Drazba also has big personal goals for her senior season.
"I want to qualify for nationals, definitely, but I also want to qualify as an All-American," Drazba said.
All-American status is awarded to the first 40 runners to finish at the national meet. Drazba missed the cut by just less than 10 seconds last season.
With all of her athletic successes, it’s easy to overlook her achievements in the classroom. Drazba has been on the All-Big 12 Academic first team every year and has earned USTFCCCA All-Academic team honors twice.
Drazba’s will get a chance to follow up her win this Friday when WVU competes in the Spiked Shoe Invitational at Penn State.