The senior cross country runner finished second at the Central League Championships this past fall, recording a PR 19:55 at Rose Tree Park. As a junior, in her first year of running cross country, she placed fourth in the CAL meet (20:44). She also runs indoor and outdoor track for the Fords. Haverford cross country coach Laura Clinton said, “Maura sets an excellent example for her teammates through her work ethic, dedication, and positive attitude.” A member of both the National Honor Society and the National Science Honor Society, Timoney will be running cross country for Lafayette College next fall.
Q: What was your most vivid memory of the Central League Championship Meet? What was the key to your performance that day?
A: In all honesty I can’t remember much from the race itself because my mind sort of goes blank when I’m racing. My most vivid memory would probably have to be the moment that I came out of the horseshoe for the last time. I saw everyone lined up along the last stretch cheering and yelling as I ran by but I couldn’t really understand what anyone was saying. Then I heard my teammate, Rachael Goodman, cheering for me as she went into the horseshoe. It was pretty unexpected and made me laugh. I would say the key to my performance that day was not psyching myself out. I stayed focused and didn’t get in my own head, but having my teammates there definitely helped with the pre-race jitters.
Q: Tell us a little about the biggest challenge you faced as a cross country runner in staying motivated and focused through summer training and early in the fall when the competitive season was in doubt.
A: I think the biggest challenge I faced in staying motivated and focused was adjusting to running on my own. At first, long runs and workouts felt pretty boring – it was tough to get motivated when I knew I wouldn’t be running with my teammates. After a week or two I was completely fine running on my own, as it gave me an excuse to get outside. I also knew that I was going to have to continue working just as hard, if not harder than I was before everything shut down in order to run in college. It wasn’t just about whether or not we would have a fall season – I wanted to continue to get better so that I could have the opportunity to run competitively at a collegiate level.
Q: What has been your most memorable experience in Haverford High School track?
A: I would say my most memorable experience in Haverford High School track has to be my post-practice talks with Coach [Jay] Williams. We didn’t even talk about running half of the time – he just has the best stories. One very memorable conversation was about the time he stepped on a squirrel when he ran for Villanova – we all thought that one was pretty crazy.
Q: Tell us a little about your running shoes, the type of shoe you favor and why.
A: I am a New Balance girl. I absolutely love my New Balances. I’ve had the 880s in the past but I decided to go with a pair of Fresh Foam Beacon v3’s at the start of summer training. I liked them so much that I stuck with them for my shoe update at the start of indoor track training. I don’t need too much support and these shoes give me just enough spring in my step. They feel pretty light on your feet and you can really wear them for any type of training, whether it be on hills, for tempo, or a nice easy day. They’re very versatile, I would highly recommend them.
Q: What aspect of your running are you working on most recently?
A: Right now in indoor track we are working on perfecting the basics and getting the little things down. There’s always room for improvement no matter how good you think your technique is, so that’s really what we’ve been focusing on in our indoor training.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-race preparation on the day of a race.
A: On the day of a race, I typically get up and double check that I have everything I need, just in case I forgot something when I was getting my stuff together the night before. Then, I make myself an egg and cheese sandwich on toast and hydrate. I get myself to the school and then put my legs up while we wait for the bus. I usually go over the game plan again with my coaches and try not to psych myself out. I put my spikes in my shoes and then pin my bib to my singlet before I put it on and before I warmup. Then I just do a 10 minute warmup run with my teammates and go through dynamic stretches. We put on our singlets and spikes and go over to the line, and then we do a few strides. In the middle of our strides we quack, which is the cheer the Haverford girls team does, and some of the older girls usually give words of encouragement before we continue. Then I take off my sweats, shake out my legs, and get on the line ready to go.
Q: What do you think you would like to major in at Lafayette? Is there a particular career field that interests you at the present time?
A: At the moment, I am planning on being a biochemistry major at Lafayette. I would like to go into the medical field and have been leaning towards oncology for a while now.
Fun facts – Maura Timoney
Favorite book: Orphan X.
Favorite author: Rick Riordan.
Favorite TV show: That 70s Show.
Favorite movie: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Favorite athlete: Craig Engels.
Favorite pre-meet pump-up song: Party In The U.S.A., by Miley Cyrus.
Favorite place to visit: Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Favorite pre-meet meal: Egg and cheese sandwich on toast.
Person I most admire, and why: “Jay Williams – he is very personable and can hold a conversation with anyone about anything. He was an amazing coach and truly cared for each and every one of his athletes. Not only that, but he has lived an amazing life so far. He has so many wonderful stories to tell and has impacted so many lives, not only from coaching but from all parts of his life. Coach Williams has left a lasting and positive impact on the people in his life and everyone that knows him speaks very highly of him.”
Family members: parents Tom and Liz, older brother Brian, younger sister Julia.
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)