Deerfield’s Osborn coming up fast
Deerfield's Abbey Osborn finishes 28th during a girls cross country race at Lakewood Forest Preserve on Aug. 29. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 7, 2012 7:45AM
DEERFIELD — You better not get in Abbey Osborn’s way. She’s in a rush to get to the finish line.
The Deerfield sophomore cross country runner has made quite an impact early in her competitive running career. Yes, with her legs: Her 28th-place finish — and time of 20:23 — in the Lake County Invitational Aug. 29 was Deerfield’s best.
But where she is also standing out from the crowd is her temperament.
During the final leg at Wauconda’s Lakewood Forest Preserve, the site of the county meet, Osborn was in a different gear. Passing two dozen other runners, her mile split of 6:23 was especially impressive when you consider that race winner Helen Schlachtenhaufen of Lake Forest averaged splits of 6:22.
“Her finish was really strong,” Warriors coach Jeff Beaumont said. “She had the gas left in the tank to really charge that last mile of the course.”
And just where does Osborn get that reserve supply?
She spent her summer vacation avoiding any kind of automobile.
“I did a lot running over the summer, and I bike almost everywhere,” Osborn said. “I swam four days a week. Not laps, just going to the pool and swimming.”
All of the cardio cross training — in the 100-degree temperatures of July — had a cumulative effect. Running only works certain muscles of the body, while other activities such as biking and swimming build strength in other areas.
“It helps with conditioning and being strong and being active and her muscles can take more miles and help her run more,” said Beaumont. “I’d love to see more girls do this.”
What may be harder to duplicate about Osborn is her attitude. Possessing an almost frenzied competitiveness, her superior conditioning is balanced by a strong belief in her own abilities.
During a race, she possesses a don’t-mess-with-me vibe.
“I’m very mean when I race. I forget about it if we were ever friends,” Osborn said. “If you are not going to push me, we have this mutual agreement. If you are not going to help me pass, then get out of my way.”
At least she’s honest. And she’s equally as glib about her goals. Osborn knows that she needs to focus on her middle-mile split — a 7:10 at Lake County — if she wants to peak at the right time.
“By conference time, my personal goal is to beat the top Highland Park milers,” Osborn said. ”I’d like us as a team to make it out of sectionals, which means everyone would have to meet their own individual goals.”
For Osborn, that means passing one opponent at a time until she reaches the finish line.