Freshmen Guay, Robertson to play big role on cross country team


Meredith Kestel/ Iowa State Daily

Freshmen Olivia Robertson and Evelyne Guay, the newest members of the ISU women’s cross country team, pose together on the track in Lied Recreation Athletic Center.

Kyle Heim

Freshmen Evelyne Guay and Olivia Robertson shared similar paths in cross country, but they didn’t officially meet until they arrived at Iowa State.

Guay and Robertson both grew up in Ontario, Canada, and began running cross country in grade school. They said they didn’t start taking it seriously until they started high school.

Robertson attended Brookfield High School in Ottawa, Ontario, while Guay attended high school at Abbey Park in Oakville, Ontario.

Guay and Robertson both said their favorite memories in high school came during the Ontario Provincial Championships.

“[Junior] year, I ran two personal bests at our provincial championships,” Robertson said. “It was just a big moment for me, a big breakthrough.”

Guay and Robertson visited Iowa State on the same day last year. Robertson said it was comforting to have Guay with her because they share similar experiences.

“We took Evelyne and Olivia to a basketball game and they were pretty floored by the environment and level of fan support,” said ISU coach Andrea Grove-McDonough. “They’re usually a little more wowed by going to a basketball or football game because Canadian universities don’t have that level of sports.”

The runners said they chose to enroll at Iowa State because of the level of success the team has had in recent years and because of the success the coaching staff had in just one year at the helm.

Since arriving at Iowa State, the transition from high school to college has been very smooth for Guay and Robertson.

“The team has been really supportive,” Guay said. “They help all the freshmen feel really welcomed. It’s been surprisingly natural.”

Both Robertson and Guay are redshirting this year for the cross country team. Robertson is still recovering from injuries she suffered during her senior year of high school and hopes to use this year to adjust to the training and a different lifestyle.

While Guay isn’t expected to have a big impact on the cross country team this year, Grove-McDonough believes she will be an important piece to the team when the indoor track season begins.

Grove-McDonough said she expects the two runners to play a major factor on the team in the near future.

“They’re definitely two girls we are expecting to be anchors down the road,” Grove-McDonough said. “We’ll be looking for [Robertson] next year more so than this year to be a big presence for us. We need [Guay] to be a big part of that middle distance group when we hit indoor track and to score some points for us this year.”

Guay and Robertson are eager to make their presence felt.

“The program that they have here at Iowa State has all the right ingredients to be successful,” Robertson said.

Robertson’s goals for the future include making it through a few seasons without any major injuries. Guay said she hopes to record new personal bests, make a Big 12 final and qualify for NCAAs in indoor or outdoor track during her time at Iowa State. She also said she hopes to compete at the Junior Pan American Games and represent Canada.