Athlete of the Week: Nikta Mozhgani

Photo courtesy of Nikta Mozhgani

By Emma Wenning, Lola Coulter, and Maddy Yorke
Sports Reporters

This season, sophomore Nikta Mozhgani, a new addition to the girls’ varsity cross country team, has been a stand out runner with a couple spectacular races. Mozhgani placed in the top fifteen in her first Dual County League Championship cross country race.

She has repeatedly been a reliable scorer in the top seven for the varsity girls this year, which tends to be unusual for a first year cross country runner.

This week, Denebola got a chance to sit down with Mozhgani as she continues to improve in this running season.

When and why did you start cross country?
“This is my first year doing cross country and I started because I did outdoor track last year and I heard from other distance runners that cross country is their favorite season so I wanted to try it out. I heard it would be fun.”

How do you train and how do you think you have improved this season?
“I train with my teammates by doing [Coach] Steve’s workouts which consist of long run days and workout days. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we have high intensity workouts on the track or the field. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we have long runs, which are just easy pace runs for however many miles he assigns us. I think I have improved because my endurance has built up and I am able to handle more distance. The support from the team has really helped me improve. I’ve been able to improve by having people work by my side. Emily [Bulczynski] , for example, has pushed me a lot because we do workouts together and so has Addie [Marple]. Caroline [Barry], Katy [Collins], and Claire [Martin] are good runners to look up to and have helped me make goals for myself.”

It’s your first year doing cross country and you placed well at the Dual County League Championships. Can you explain what it felt like to place well at this race?
“Running a good race felt good, and I had the support from my teammates. Running a race is really hard because you get tired really easily so having Emily [Bulczynski] by my side was a good motivation. Training for DCLs consisted of a ton of workouts which helped build up my courage.”

What are your plans and goals for running in the future?
“For the future, I plan to do indoor and outdoor track so I can keep three seasons of running. Maybe I’ll run in college. For goals, I hope to improve. Cross country has helped me with my endurance so I think it will help me get faster for specific events in track.”