Get The Latest News!
Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.
EDWARDSVILLE – Former Edwardsville cross-country runner Julianna Determan was a double winner at the 24th annual Mud Mountain 5K run held Saturday morning at the SIU-Edwardsville course.
Not only did Determan win the women’s race with a time of 18:15.34, she also helped her team, the Elite Eight, a group of former Tigers’ runners, win the women’s team championship with a total of 250 points.
“I didn’t really have a strategy, I just wanted to come out and run hard,” Determan said in an interview following the race, “and push myself. Having a race with men in it really helps,” she said with a laugh, “because I compete with them. And of course, Abby Korac from the high school, she’s a really strong competitor, so it was really good to race with her again, because I race with her once a year now, since I’ve graduated.”
Determan currently competes for Missouri Southern State in Joplin, and always looks forward to coming home to Edwardsville each summer to run in the Mud Mountain race.
“I really just like to think back when we had sectionals and regionals here in high school,” Determan said. “It’s kind of fun to, like, see those times and see what you can do in the summer. It kind of gives you high hopes for the season, I guess, but it’s really great coming back. I love this course; it’s definitely one of the hardest courses I’ve ever run, but it’s definitely one of my favorite ones as well, because it really tests your strength, both mentally and physically.”
Running alongside her old teammates from the Tigers is also a big thing for Determan.
“Yeah, I love it,” Determan said. “I just love coming back with them. They’re definitely just like my sisters. We’ve been through so much, so it’s really great.”
As far as competing for Missouri Southern State in the upcoming NCAA season, Determan has some goals in mind for both herself and the Lions.
“I definitely would like to run some more (personal records), some fast times,” Determan said. “I really like our team to do well in, like, the postseason, and we have some high hopes of, hopefully, going to the nationals this year. So I’m really training; that’s my motivation all summer, just training for them all season.”
And the Mud Mountain race give Determan a good comparison as she readies herself for the fall season.
“Yeah, for sure,” Determan said. “It gives me high hopes for everything.”
And Determan also believes that the Lions can have a special season ahead.
“Yep, for sure,” Determan said. “I think we all have the same expectations and hopes coming in. So this summer, we’re all training our butts off, so we can make it there to California this November,” she said with a laugh.
And Determan also gave a salute to her former Edwardsville coaches for putting on the annual race.
“I’m just extremely thankful for coach (George) Patrylak, coach (Dustin) Davis. They’ve really put together a really amazing race for several years, and I just think they’re definitely one of the best programs in the state, and it shows every year whenever this race is put on.”