Dixon perseveres thru difficult sophomore season


Exeter’s Rosalind Dixon competes at state after rough start to the season

By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN

FRESNO – It wasn’t the season Exeter’s Rosalind Dixon wanted, but she made the most of it and ended it competing in her second straight state championships this past Saturday at Woodward Park.

“I’ve definitely had a rough season, but recently I’ve just been trying to get it all together,” Dixon said.

Dixon competed in the Division III race. The start time of which was at noon and the course had already had seven races compete on it which had helped pack down the mud from the early morning rain. Against the best runners in the state she finished in 103rd place with a time of 20:10.70. She ran almost a minute faster and placed seven spots better than her race in 2017.

“I have had a lot of people help me, and I’ve put in a lot of time too, so it feels good to have results come out of this race,” Dixon said.

Usually, Dixon tries to get near the front of the pack in the first hundred yards of the race. It’s a task easier said than done at state. Toward the outside of the starting line she was squeezed back toward the middle and with over 200 runners she found herself in a position she doesn’t care for.

“When there is a lot of people it is definitely harder to make a move, or run at a consistent pace, but it is something that is always going to be a part of this race,” Dixon said.

In races of this magnitude, not only in importance but in size, it is important for a runner to stay mentally strong. An aspect of running Dixon has seen improvements in, but still needs to work on.

To begin the season Dixon ran an uncharacteristic time of 22:35.20 at the Rudolf Invitational at Mooney’s Grove. That time placed her in 37th position. From that race on she began to really focus on her running, and she slowly began to see her times improve.

In the Central Sequoia League meets Dixon had a new top competitor to contend with, Hanford West’s Natalie Gonzalez, which also provided another metal obstacle. In the second CSL Cluster Gonzalez ran away from Dixon in the last half mile to take the win. A couple weeks later at the CSL Championships, at Woodward Park, Dixon returned the favor and won her second straight individual title league title. Her time was 20:12.50.

Over the course of two months Dixon had already shaved two minutes off her time, and nine days later ran her best time of the season. She ran a 20:01.70 at the Division III Valley Championships. It was good enough for her to claim the final qualifying spot at seventh place.

“I think having a season where I didn’t meet my expectations is going to push me figure out what I need to do to not have this happen again,” Dixon said.

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