When hearing of fellow runners and their injuries, they hope, "Oh, please not me, please not me." Each college team is affected by injuries, but the injury Iowa State was dealt last week is a large blow.
Samantha Bluske, fifth year senior and team captain, injured her foot in practice last week and has been in a walking boot since.
"I had been having some small foot pain for a few weeks. It was nothing bad and I was still running fine," Bluske said. "But on a long run, I stepped in a hole and tweaked it. I couldn't really run after that."
Bluske transferred from Illinois State in 2011 and redshirted that season. She earned second team Academic All-Big 12 honors last season, and finished ninth at the Big 12 Championships, as well as being one of the top Cyclones to finish at the NCAA Championships last fall.
Since this is her fifth and final season, this injury is beyond a nuisance.
"I've worked so hard for this season, and it's really a huge bummer that this had to happen," Bluske said. "But it isn't the end of the world. I still have this spring. I'm just trying to make the best of it."
Bluske will know by the end of this week what exactly her injury is, but for now, the team is treating it as a stress fracture, which can typically sideline a runner for four to eight weeks.
"We really don't know what is wrong yet," said head coach Andrea Grove-McDonough. "We're expecting the worst right now, but hoping for the best."
Instead of just sitting on the sidelines and watching her teammates run, Bluske has been doing physical therapy and running on underwater treadmills to rebuild the strength in her foot.
The team will now have to find a replacement for Bluske. Last week the team took fifth at the Griak Invitational, one of the largest cross country meets in the country.
"It's really too bad, but we still have to move forward," Grove-McDonough said. "I certainly hope she makes it back because she's a tremendous asset. But from this point, we have to act like Sam won't be competing for us this fall."
Whether it's on the sidelines or running with her team again, Bluske hopes to support her fellow runners as much as she can.
"I am still going to do my part for this team, whatever that may be," she said. "Part of my duties as a captain are to be there and support the girls. Whether I'm running or watching from the sidelines, that's what I'm going to do."
If you are a runner with a foot or ankle problem, call our Rocky Hill or Middletown office to make an appointment.
Jeffrey S. Kahn, DPM
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Sports Medicine Podiatrist in CT
Podiatrist in Rocky Hill and Middletown, CT
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