Freshman cross country runner Emma Callahan began her athletic career with the University of Dallas long before the season began in early August. Coach Matt Barber gave Callahan summer workouts so that come the fall season, she’d be ready.
She was, and in her first meet she finished second overall in the UT-Tyler Campbell Spectacular.
However, Callahan only ran in this first meet due to her hip injury in the following weeks.
“I noticed that my stride was off, and it was a build-up to where my hip was getting tighter,”Callahan said.
Eventually, athletic trainers found the issue to be the lack of support in Callahan’s shoes which caused her arches to prone and bend inward. However, the process goes almost unnoticed until it begins to affect other areas in the body, which in Callahan’s case, was her hip.
She started cross training for a few weeks and slowly began racing again.
“Once we figured out what the problem was, I worked with a chiropractor to get better,” Callahan said. “It was a little disappointing, having trained all summer and then not being able to run for a lot of meets, but I was so glad I was able to feel 100 percent better for the last two races of the season.”
Callahan came back for the SCAC championships as well as the USCAA championships to end the season, finishing second amongst UD runners in both meets. In the USCAA championships, she finished 21st overall out of 125 runners.
She thanks her teammates and Coach Barber for her quick recovery.
“Since I don’t have a car, coach Barber drove me to my chiropractor appointments, which were a good 30 minutes away,” Callahan said. “t was so selfless of him, Without that support it would have been really hard to bounce back and finish strong.”
The same attitude was seen in her teammates. Unlike her high-school cross country team, which consisted of 40-50 girls, UD’s team only has about 25-30 runners.
“I really like the size of the team. Especially me as a freshman, it was great to have the upperclassmen and to be able to talk to them and feel really welcome by them.”
Teammate Caroline Schemel said that despite Callahan’s injury, “She still came to all the six a.m. practices and by the end of the season she was back to racing, and still one of our two best runners.”
Callahan is excited to have started Track and Field training injury-free this week, where we will likely see her continue to succeed.