Updated Wed, Feb 8, 2012 9:27 am
Ohio University Sophomore Juli Accurso is a force to be reckoned with, and she proved her abilities--yet again--at the Meyo Invitational at Notre Dame over the weekend.
Accurso won the 3000-meter race with a time of 9:21.89 obliterating several records. She set a school record and also set a new Mid-American Conference mark. In addition to breaking teammate Annie Beecham’s school record by 11 seconds, Accurso also shattered her career best by 1:18.
Emily Pifer, Accurso's teammate, says she couldn’t be happier for her teammate.
“She really deserves this. She works so hard and is an inspiration for all of us. Anytime a record is broken it’s special, but when it’s someone so close to you it means even more,” Pifer said.
Accurso says she knows her race is as much mental as it is physical, so she does her best to feed herself with positive thoughts before each race.
“I try to keep telling myself that right now it’s an individual race and all I have to do is think about myself and my progress. As long as I keep improving everything will be ok,” Accurso said.
What exactly is her recipe for success?
“I just try to do the little things,” said Accurso. “Getting enough sleep, eating well and then keep up with the training and I hope those things will bring me success and a healthy race season.”
Distance Coach Mitch Bentley says he is proud of Accurso and knows her effect extends beyond the track.
“I always tell the team, I can stand up here and try to motivate you, but I don’t have to because you have teammates like Juli from whom you can draw all kinds of inspiration,” Bentley said.
In addition to this recent record, as a freshman, Accurso was a member of the distance medley relay team that broke a school record and took first place at the MAC Indoor Championships.
She also won the MAC women’s cross-country individual title, becoming only the fourth runner in Ohio history to win the individual title.
The individual title, and a sixth place finish at the Great Lakes Regional led her to compete in the NCAA DI National Cross Country Championships, where she set a school record in the 6000 meter, finishing with a time of 20:26.3 and earning her All-American honors.
She is the first Bobcat to earn All-American honors since Jackie Conrad did in 1998.
Accurso will run in the Husky Classic in Seattle Washington on Saturday.