Maximum Overdrive: Austin grad puts together a breakthrough season at UND

Published 6:19 pm Thursday, November 15, 2018

It’s been quite a comeback year for Austin grad Madison Overby.

A year after she suffered enough injury set backs to go through a red-shirt in her second season at UND last year, Overby had her most productive season as a college runner for the University of North Dakota cross country team this fall.

Overby ran in her first ever Division I Midwest Regional in Bradley University last week, where she was the third highest finisher for UND when she took 114th place overall with a time of 22:17.2. Overby also earned Second Team All-Summit Conference honors when she took 13th in the conference meet with at time of 21:59.88.

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Overby has battled nagging injuries ever since she was a high school runner for the Packers, where she went to six straight Minnesota Class A State Cross Country Meets.

It was exciting to get through the end of the season and still feel strong,” Overby said. “To be able to place All-Conference second team was awesome.”

Overby credited her increased health due to the fact that she increased her mileage gradually over the summer. By the time the season came around, she was running 50 to 55 miles per week.

Overby has emerged near the front of the pack for the Fighting Hawks as she has teamed up with Lydia Kantonen of Park Rapids, Minn. and Hannah Oscarson of Minneapolis Washburn to make up the top-three for UND this season.

“I think (this year) really helped with my confidence,” Overby said. “I had two teammates that I was trained with and I was always able to run with them in meets. We pushed each other. I grew up this year as a teammate and a runner.”

While it’s been three years since she competed for the Packers and Grand Forks, N.D. is 413 miles from Austin, Overby hasn’t forgotten about where she came from. She has stayed in close contact with Austin head cross country coach Tony Einertson and she’s followed the career of five-time state qualifier Abby Lewis very closely.

I talk to Abby every single day,” Overby said. “She still feels like my teammate. Once I got here, I realized the our program in Austin has so much passion. We didn’t just try to run fast, we enjoyed it.”

Overby ran in just four meets as a freshman for the UND cross country team before missing last year with the injury. She is also a two-year letter-winner for the UND track and field team and she ran the fifth-fastest steeplechase time in UND history with a mark of 11:27.16 last year.

Overby has two years remaining of cross country eligibility and she definitely plans on running next season. After that, she’s not sure where things will go as she is aiming to eventually get into dental school.