On the Run: Widener Celebrates Cross Country Athlete’s Milestones

Zora DeSeignora ’23 Communications Studies and Spanish
Gabby Nye runs during the NCAA cross country championship in the snow in Michigan.
Gabby Nye at the 2022 NCAA DIII cross country championships in Lansing, Michigan.

Gabby Nye spent her fall semester running into Widener’s history books.

Nye, a Spanish and biology pre-physical therapy 3+3 major, became the first member of Widener’s women’s cross-country team to win the 2022 MAC individual title and was named MAC runner of the year.

Not stopping there, Nye also won the individual title at the NCAA Metro Region championships and was named women’s athlete of the year - a first for a Widener female athlete!

Her hard work and her team’s dedication led the women’s cross-country team to the NCAA national competition in Michigan this season – another historic accomplishment. We caught up with Nye to talk about all the amazing accomplishments.

Congratulations on your remarkable achievements! What’s one word you would say to describe this season and why? 

Thank you! One word to describe this season is rewarding. We’ve been working toward these things for so long, with our eye on a lot of the accomplishments that we achieved this year. We have been putting in so much hard work and effort, so it’s extremely rewarding to see this hard work be realized. 

Running takes so much stamina and endurance. What motivates you to get started with a run, and then keep going the distance? 

I would say the people around me motivate me to both get started and keep going. People think cross country isn’t a team sport, and it’s not in the traditional way of a team sport, but it is still very much one. Thinking of all the hard work my teammates are putting in and knowing that I am doing this for something bigger than myself motivates me through it all. 

Have you been at the sport a long time? How did you get into it?

I started running in high school, but only on the track team. I played soccer and had plans to play soccer in college, and mostly did track to stay in shape for soccer. I ended up loving track though and decided I wanted to run in college instead. I did cross country for the first time in college. 

Do you like to run to music? What’s on your playlist? 

During the school year, I run with my team, so I don’t listen to anything. Instead, we talk during the run. However, in the summer, when I run by myself, I liked listening to music. I do like to listen to audiobooks more because I get tired of listening to the same music over again every day. Audiobooks keep it interesting. 

How do you get ready for a meet? 

Before a meet, I get all my things together the night before. In the morning, I get up, eat breakfast, and braid my hair. Our team has a few silly superstitious things too, for example, I always sit in the front seat of the van with Coach Stroman. I also always listen to my pre-race playlist that gets me in the mindset to race. 

Tell us how it feels to have made history for Widener with all these accolades. 

It feels great. Our team has worked incredibly hard and it’s amazing that all our hard work has paid off. I’m very happy to have accomplished all these great things with this team. I couldn’t imagine this season or achieving any of these accomplishments without each one of my teammates by my side. 

Is there an athlete you really admire?  

One athlete that I’ve recently started admiring is hurdler and sprinter Sydney McLaughlin, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic champion and 2022 world champion. She is on a much bigger scale, but she has been making a lot of history and I think it’s inspiring to see a female athlete from the United States accomplish many amazing things in such a short time. One thing that I admire the most about her is that she does everything to glorify God. She has accomplished so much, but still, she gives the glory to God, which I like. 

Your coach, Logan Stroman, was named MAC coach of the year. What role did he have in your accomplishments? 

My coaches are incredible. Only one award can be given for coach of the year, but if it were up to me, both of our coaches, Logan Stroman and Mike Ambrulavage would be given Coach of the Year. Many of my teammates and I have improved since high school, and we owe it all to the amazing coaching we have received. We have been the ones putting in the work, but nothing we have accomplished would be possible without our coaches guiding us along the way and pushing us to be the best that we can be.  

Why did you choose to become part of the Pride and attend Widener?  

The first reason for choosing Widener was purely academic: I came for the physical therapy program. Other factors that influenced my decision were size and location. However, being able to run here was another big influence. I loved the coaches and the team, and the way they seemed to be changing the culture of our sport at Widener. 

How did you celebrate all these big wins? 

We celebrated these wins with lots of quality time together and rest. Our team has accomplished these things together, and it’s been great to enjoy the feeling of these achievements together. It has also been nice to get some deserved and much-needed rest after working hard for such a long time. Now we are getting back into the hard work to prepare for indoor track. 

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