Team Manager Landwehr Has “Heart” for Cross Country

Gioia Cumicek , Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Thanks–or no thanks–to a heart condition affecting her running, Notre Dame junior Emily Landwehr has become a manager of the cross country team.

This is my first year as team manager, and I am excited for next year,” said Landwehr.

Landwehr was a runner on the JV team freshman and sophomore year. Sophomore year she developed a heart condition that didn’t allow her heart to keep beating at the pace she wanted while running. This caused her to pass out almost every race. Soon it was evident that she could no longer run.

“I still wanted to be a part of the team. My coaches told me I would be a perfect fit for manager, and I think that it also is a perfect fit for me,” said Landwehr.

She goes to every practice and meet, talks with the runners, helps out whenever needed and feels like part of the team.

As manager she hands out and collects paperwork, provides water for the runners at meets and practices, records times and mile splits at the meets and helps out when there are injured runners.

“Whether it be catching them when they fall or find their medical forms while they are being hauled off in an ambulance,” said Landwehr in describing her role.

“The hardest part of my job is memorizing all 144 runners’ names and talking to as many of them a day as I can,” said the manager.

You don’t have to run to be a part of the team. To become a manager you just have to talk to the coaches like any other sport. You have to be willing to be committed and show up to every practice and meet. If the coaches and runners think you are a good fit, you will be voted manager.

She advises those who are hesitant about joining the team to “Go for it. You won’t regret joining the team.”

Cross country team members urge potential runners to not worry about how much running is involved.  

As one runner noted, “Get rid of your fears because about 60% of the team secretly hates running, but they do it for each other. There is a bond like no other on this team.  You will make 143 new friends.”