After traveling across the Atlantic to attend Northwestern, Sophie Ewald is accustomed to logging miles. However, since arriving in Evanston, this frequent flying German is racking up a different kind of mile.
A sophomore from Berlin, Ewald brought with her an impressive track record. Not only did she qualify for the 2007 European Cross Country Championships, Ewald also won the 2007 Berlin Mini Marathon in record time.
Many had high hopes for Ewald and her seven other classmates on the cross-country team. Head coach April Likhite heralded the group as "the strongest incoming class to ever join the Northwestern cross-country program."
Once in Evanston, Ewald did not disappoint. In the fall she recorded the top time out of all Northwestern runners at the Great American Legends Meet, the Mississippi State Invitational and the Big Ten Championships. Ewald's eighth-place finish helped propel Northwestern to a team victory at the 32-team Loyola University Chicago's Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational, its first team victory in two years.
But Ewald outdid herself in the spring, winning two of the five meets in which she competed and finishing first for Northwestern at the other three. Ewald's most impressive performance of the spring may have been at the prestigious Penn Relays, where she placed 18th out of 35 participants, missing the regional qualifying time by just 37-hundredths of a second.
Likhite credits Ewald's success during the season to her remarkable work ethic. A biological sciences major, Ewald not only balances academics and athletics, she is also adjusting to life in a foreign country.
"She comes to practice ready to do what she's supposed to do," Likhite said. "She gets through it and moves forward with whatever else she has to do during the day. It's really important as a runner that you can be focused when you need to be and yet balanced with your whole life."
— Robert Levin (J12)