Following season after season of training and perseverance, Devin Sauvola (Jr, Eagle River, Wis) was able to head back to the national cross country meet for a second time. Sauvola’s qualification for nationals is his first as an individual, although he did make the trip once when the entire team qualified in 2014.
Sauvola’s individual qualification this year is especially important because he is continuing a seven year streak in which at least one men’s cross country member from Stout has gone to nationals, although it took a lot of hard work to get this far.
Sauvola comments on how he prepared for the meet by staying mentally and physically together and kept a cool head so as not to throw off his performance or cause an injury.
“We have had a lot of injuries on the team this year, and I have been lucky enough to avoid them,” Sauvola remarks.
In order to get where he is, Sauvola has been constantly training since he got out of high school. The amount of miles of training between his freshman year and now have all come down to this meet.
“I overcame many setbacks throughout the seasons, and I am happy I was able to keep the main goal in mind, which was just to make it to the national meet someday,” Sauvola remarks as he talks about his journey. Although, he recognizes that no great athlete goes it alone. “The guys I run with every day are the reason I am where I am today. They helped me push through workouts and long runs, and that has been important in my years here at Stout,” Sauvola says on how he was able to make it to nationals.
Keeping the nationals streak alive was definitely something that was weighing on Sauvola’s mind throughout the season. However, it was also what helped propel him through the regional and into the national meet.
“I knew I had a lot on the line, and I think that’s why I ran so well there,” he adds.
Sauvola had a lot of motive and drive going into this year that has been built up since his freshman year by seeing others before him train hard and make it to nationals. Now, he can continue the tradition that was started by Peter Johnston back in 2010.