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Student-Athlete Profile: Isabel Cardi '21

isabell cardi

The pandemic hasn't stopped Red Devil Isabel Cardi '21 from moving forward

Coming to Dickinson as a sophomore transfer, Isabel Cardi '21 has enjoyed much success with the women's cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field teams, running to All-American honors in both cross country and indoor track and field in 2019. In cross country, she has crossed the line first in the past two Little Three Championships, and last fall she was named the U.S. Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association’s Mideast Region Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Year.

Cardi was an All-American, placing third at the 2019 NCAA Championships. She won the individual title at the Mideast Region Championships and was named the Centennial Conference (CC) Runner of the Year, winning the individual title while Head Coach Don Nichter earned Coach of the Year honors. She earned All-Region and All-Conference honors in 2018 as well. Cardi was ranked second in the nation in the 3,000 meters when she traveled to the 2020 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. After arriving at the site, the championships were unfortunately canceled due to the pandemic, but she earned All-American honors by qualifying with one of the top eight times in the country. In 2019, Cardi ran to All-American honors, breaking the school record with a fifth-place finish.

She set the record again last season, running to gold with a time of 9:47.34 at the 2020 conference championships. She was named the CC Outstanding Track Performer, adding silver as the anchor of the distance medley relay, and earned All-Region honors in the 3,000- and 5,000-meter events.

Below, Cardi talks about her experience at Dickinson and what she’s been doing for the fall semester:

I chose Dickinson because I really wanted a smaller liberal-arts school after attending a larger state school. After touring campus and meeting with Coach Nichter, I felt that Dickinson would be a great fit academically and athletically.

I've loved my time as a Red Devil. Coming in as a transfer, I was a little nervous about joining a new team, but my teammates and the coaching staff made me feel so welcome. The team atmosphere is positive and supportive, and the drives of my teammates to be the best that they can be is very motivating. We all push each other.

My life during the pandemic has been uneventful. The internship I had lined up for the summer was unfortunately canceled, so instead, I spent most of my summer babysitting for a family in my town and also training. Luckily for running, you don't need much equipment. I did get a little bored of my regular routes, but I was able to do all of my runs from home and I set up a little "gym" on my back porch to do strength training.

I'm a part-time student this semester, so only taking two credits has made the transition to remote learning much more manageable. With the rest of my time, I've been studying for the GRE and following our team's training plan, which pretty closely mimics what we would be doing if we were in-season on campus. It's definitely much harder to motivate when training alone, but our team has been connecting virtually, which has been really helpful. That's what I've missed most during all of this—not having the normal daily interactions with teammates, classmates and friends.

My advice to incoming students is just to try your best and don't be too hard on yourself. These are unprecedented times, and stress really does manifest itself in unpredictable ways. It's okay if there are days when you feel unmotivated or worn down; be gentle with yourself. Remember that this is temporary, and that you're not alone in feeling this way. I'm Dickinson proud because of Dickinson's strong sense of commitment to the student body and beyond. Dickinson is globally and community minded, which is what we need now more than ever. Go Big Red!


Published October 14, 2020