Second-year graduate assistant athletic trainer Katie Sheehan traveled with Team USA to Venezuela for the 2016 APA Pan American Cross Country Cup earlier this March.
Sheehan received the call in January that she was selected from a talented pool of applicants to work with Lori Barnes, who works at Hope Orthopedics in Salem, Oregon and 20 athletes that made up the men’s and women’s senior and junior teams ages 15-35. The following countries participated in the 2016 PanAm Cross Country Cup: Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States of America.
“The experience was amazing,” said Sheehan. “I don’t think it really hit me that I was going to be with Team USA until race day. The experience of being surrounded by all of the other countries and being around the different athletes was something I’ll always remember.”
Sheehan’s favorite part of the trip was the day of competition when she realized the caliber of the athletes she was with.
“It was very apparent how talented they were,” Sheehan said. “These are people that make a living running. It was incredible to have the opportunity to be a part of this.”
Overall, the trip was a success for Sheehan and the team as the United States finished first as a team in the Senior Women (10k), Senior Men (10k) and Junior Men (8k) races.