Champion of the PacWest demonstrates versatility, talent, skill.
Anett Somogyi, sophomore nutrition and food sciences major, said she never imagined running school races as a child in Hungary would transition into running races for a scholarship at a college in the United States, but that is exactly what happened.
After participating in the Junior European Championship, Somogyi said she made the decision to run cross country at California Baptist University.
Somogyi quickly became essential to the Lancers. She holds the title of defending PacWest Cross Country Individual Champion and has set CBU’s record for best personal time for a 3K Steeplechase – 10:23.58.
Recently, Somogyi finished first overall Oct. 4 during the San Francisco Invitational.
“At the last 2-300 hundred (yards) of the race, one of my teammates came very close to me so I had to fight for first place,” Somogyi said. “It was mentally breaking but I was very happy with how I did.”
This season, Somogyi had to overcome physical challenges, such as heel injuries.
“Even though she has pain, she would power through it,” said Leanda du Bruyn, senior graphic design major and teammate. Somogyi said she has refused to let pain bring her down.
“The key is your goal must be something you like to do. If you like to work for it then you’re not suffering waking up at 5 a.m. to run every day,” Somogyi said.
Dr. Ben Gall, head coach of cross country, said Somogyi is driven to do her best for the team.
“It’s easy coaching her,” Gall said. “She’s so internally motivated.”
Somogyi added that she believes God plays a part in her motivation.
“If I do everything for this to work, and God wants it to work, then it will,” Somogyi said.
Besides her achievements, Somogyi’s heart for others is something her teammates said make her stand out on the team.
“I struggle with my back a lot and she would always help me out with a massage, or when I’m down she would support me and lift me up,” du Bruyn said.
A memory du Bruyn said stands out is going to a choir show in which one of their teammates was participating.
“It was Anett’s idea to go. We made a poster and held it up,” du Bruyn said. “It’s funny because it’s something you usually do at a sports event but we wanted to support her.”
Although it is CBU’s last season in Division II, Somogyi said she feels no pressure to keep her PacWest Champion title.
“I’ve done this for six years, there shouldn’t be pressure anymore,” Somogyi said. “If it’s first place, I will be happy because I’ve done my best and if it’s 10th, I’ll be happy because I’ve done my best.”
Somogyi said all of her hard work would be impossible without her supporters.
“Running and school together is hard but my family, friends and coaches help a lot,” Somogyi said.
Gall said she will continue to reach her full potential.
“She’s been a huge blessing to this team,” Gall said. “This season I believe she’s going to surpass anything that she’s already done.”