After two years of leading the Buccaneers Women's Cross Country team with top-ten finishes, Madison Burkholder enters her senior year more ready than ever to step into a leadership role.
"The past couple of years we haven't really had a leader and that makes it more difficult," Burkholder said. "I'm trying to become a leader that others can look up to because we have a lot of freshman and I want to be there for them as they're learning."
We took an afternoon to get to know the Boiling Springs, S.C. native, prior to CSU's meet at the S.C. State Relays on Saturday morning.
Favorite pro sports team:
The New York Giants
Favorite pre-race meal:
Pasta… like chicken parmesan
Secret talent or fact that:
I like to dance.
Any of my kinesiology classes
Strangest nickname you have:
Marty. Two years ago we were at Chick-fil-A after a race and they asked for my name. When my order was ready, they kept calling for Marty. I finally realized they were calling for me and they had thought I said Marty instead of Maddie, so the team started calling me Marty after that.
Most surprising/embarrassing song on your iPod:
"Say My Name" by Destiny's Child
Two words to describe you on the course:
Good finish… because I have a good kick at the end of the race.
Two words to describe you off the course:
Quiet and lazy. I'm way too lazy to be a runner.
Best advice you've ever gotten:
Just run. Don't think about whatever else is going on, just run and try and catch up to the people in front of you.
Favorite ice cream flavor:
Cookies and cream
Mountains or beach?
All-time favorite sporting moment from your time here at CSU:
When I got a new personal record my freshman year. It was super exciting because I broke 20 seconds off of it.
What do you want to do when you graduate?
I want to become a physical therapist assistant.
Favorite TV show:
Place you would most like to visit?
Somewhere in Europe
Favorite sport to play/watch:
I like watching football on TV, but if I'm at the game, it would probably be men's basketball. I don't have a lot of hand/eye coordination, but I like to play volleyball.
Do you have any superstitions or pre-race rituals?
I have to eat pasta the night before and I usually eat a peanut butter honey sandwich about three hours before I race, and then right when I get up to the line, we pray, and I have to do this jump thing—and then I'm like, alright, I'm good.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pasta. I eat noodles all the time. Just with like a little bit of parmesan and butter, I'm good. I could eat it every day.
If you were a super-hero, what superpower would you have?
I wish I could just fly.
What are your hobbies outside of cross country?
I like to dance. I also love watching Netflix and just hanging out with friends and eating.
If you could go back in time, what decade would you travel to?
Probably the 80's or 90's just because all the music was so good.
The speedy senior is setting her sights high for the season, establishing both long and short-term goals for the year.
"I'm just hoping to improve on my time from last week. I'm just hoping to get faster. We have great coaching and conditioning, so I'm excited for the season," Burkholder said.
The Charleston Southern Women's Cross Country team will travel to Orangeburg on Saturday as they participate at the South Carolina State Duels.