Cross country seniors Heather Demorest and Trevor Polson both came to MSU after falling in love with the Gallatin Valley area.
“I love the mountains and skiing,” Demorest said. “At the time, I was a nursing major, and MSU has a good program. As soon as I met Coach Kennedy though, I knew this is where I should go. My decision was mostly based on feeling.” Similarly, Polson said he came on a visit, loved the town and team, and decided to come to Bozeman from Gillette, Wyo.
Demorest, a Darby, Mont. native, said her favorite part of cross country is the team camaraderie. “It’s a smaller group of girls for cross country than track, and we all bond,” she said. Polson said he enjoys “getting to race all over the country against teams we don’t normally compete with.”
Both Polson and Demorest started running in their early teens. “I started running in seventh grade. I played soccer then, and decided to run to get in better shape,” said Polson.
Demorest also started around the same time. “I started in junior high. I thought I might be a good sprinter,” Demorest said. “Coach thought I should try the mile, and it turned out I was pretty good at it, so I stuck with distance events from there on out.”
Both athletes have similar pre-meet rituals. “I take it pretty easy the day before. Mentally, I just set goals, both short-term, like focusing on the race, and I also revisit my long-term goals to see how this race fits in with that,” Demorest said. “I talk with my teammates, pray together and get pumped.” Polson likes to eat a big pasta dinner the night before and relax as well.
Polson, an exercise science major and coaching and psychology minor, says he looks up to the underdogs, and “is inspired by the way they perform when nobody really expects anything out of them.”
Demorest is motivated by her faith, and looks to Biblical quotes for inspiration. “My favorite Bible verse is ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength,” she said. “Coach Kennedy and my teammates also inspire me.”
Both Demorest, a community health major and writing minor, and Polson see running in their future. Demorest said she will continue recreationally. “I’m not good enough to become professional, but I love to run, and I plan on continuing it throughout my life.” Polson also said it is hard to picture life without running and racing, so he will likely continue.
Polson and Demorest are good students who are named to the all-academic team seasonally. Demorest said the key to her success is time management. She also said it is necessary to balance athletics and academics, and set goals. “I like being able to keep my goals in sight, and work toward others and achieve them.”
They are both looking forward to a successful season, and Polson said, “This year’s team looks to be one of the strongest ever. Come support us as we host conference at Bridger Creek Golf Course on November 2!”