Warhawk Cross Country Star Leads Young Squad


Mikey Rottier,, Women’s Sports Editor

Coming off a strong track season this past spring, Senior Paige Fassbender anticipates another strong showing for herself in the upcoming cross country season this fall. Fassbender led the Warhawk women’s track and field team as a team captain and was named the Most Valuable Athlete after her impressive performance. She worked her way into the record books with a 1500 meter time of 4:38.29, the third fastest time in program history. Fassbender also recorded the fourth fastest 800 meter time in program history with a time of 2:17.47. With a subtle confidence boost following her 2022 track performance, Fassbender is prepared for the cross country season. 

Q: What are your feelings after coming off such a strong track season and now stepping into a leadership role on a young cross country team?

A: After last track season going super well towards the end, it has me very amped up for a great cross country season. The numbers that we have this year are going to make for a really strong team and we have a lot of strong leaders that will bring our team to success. I am excited for all of the upperclassmen and even the young leaders to step it up and show what it means to be a Warhawk. 

Q: What are your personal goals and expectations going into this season?

A: Of course with it being senior year I have pretty high goals for myself. I want to end with a bang but more importantly just stay healthy. 

Q: What are the team’s goals for the season?

A: The team goal is to keep some high numbers, because we struggled with having a few athletes injured last season, and people not being able to make meets and such. Our main goal is to have everyone held accountable for making it to practice and meets and being able to compete for each other. It is easier to work as a team than as individuals so we are really hoping for a tighter team this year.

Q: How do you feel about this year’s newcomers and what does the team do to make them feel like a part of the Warhawk cross country team?

A: We are very excited to have more numbers this year, since COVID had put a dent in our recruiting process. I know the girls that we have coming in are really talented runners and we are excited to bring them in not just for their talents but to bring character to the team. Every year is a different story with different faces and personalities so we are excited to see how that contributes to the team’s success with this group of runners.

Q: What does it mean to you to be a Warhawk and how does the Whitewater athletics community support female athletes?

A: For me being a Warhawk has been a special experience, because my older brother David just graduated from Whitewater last year and he was very inspirational to me. He showed me that being a Warhawk is to be dedicated and disciplined while also having fun at the same time. I think Whitewater does a great job understanding that in the developmental process of running, female athletes will go through highs and lows. I have dealt with it with injuries and such, but always having coaches that understand that and understand the mental aspect ultimately helps you become successful.

The Whitewater women’s cross country team will compete in their first official meet of the season on Saturday Sep. 10 at the Ken Weidt Invitational in Mequon, WI. Fassbender has high hopes for the season and is expecting success both individually and for the team as a whole.