July 24, 2013
The Varsity Ohio staff recently sat down with rising senior Juli Accurso of the Ohio Women’s Cross Country team. This past season she became the first Bobcat ever to win an NCAA Regional meet, has been a team leader and excelled in the classroom. Juli agreed to help us kick off Varsity Ohio’s “Get to Know a Bobcat”, where we interview both current and former Ohio student-athletes to ask about their experiences at Ohio University.
The goal of Varsity Ohio is to re-engage former Ohio student-athletes, managers, and trainers with Ohio Athletics and provide opportunities for them to re-connect with former teammates and friends. We do this through hosting on campus reunions and offering other benefits to our members. Varsity Ohio is free to join and those that competed on a varsity sport while at Ohio can sign up by clicking here.
Without further ado, here is our first edition of Get to Know a Bobcat!
Varsity Ohio: How did you get into running? When did you know you wanted to run, and what brought you to Ohio University?
Juli Accurso: I began as a softball player, and during that time we made friends with a number of families. One of those families encouraged my parents to try running. I planned to try out for the cross country team in 7th grade, and as a trial, my dad and I ran a 5K together as a test. My goal was to break 25 minutes, and I ran 24:20. After that, I decided I would give running a try and would see how it goes. At one stage I was playing soccer in the fall and running cross country at the same time.
My final two years of high school, I focused on track and had success and realized how much I enjoyed it. I wasn’t recruited heavily out of high school, and I focused mainly on DIII schools because I graduated from a small high school. My dad pushed me to give Ohio a look because Carrie Summers (’11) had run here had improved greatly during her time here. After meeting the team and the coaches, I knew this was where I wanted to be.
Varsity Ohio: Describe competing here, and what it means to be a Bobcat? What is your favorite memory?
Juli: The team aspect of it has been huge to me. We are such a close family and I am so grateful for that. Having those relationships makes it very easy to compete and our support of each other is incredible. We are extremely proud to run for Ohio, and I think our running reflects that. It’s great to see so many of our athletic teams having so much success right now.
My favorite memory would be my freshman year at MAC’s for indoor track and we were running the DMR (Distance Medley Relay). We weren’t thought of as a contender in the race and I was running the leadoff leg. I ended up handing off the baton in first place, and after falling back a few places, my roommate ran the anchor leg and crossed first. It was an amazing experience.
Varsity Ohio: How do you balance training and competing essentially year-round, with being a double major?
Juli: It has been a challenge. I try to find a balance between training and going to class and doing schoolwork. I am always trying to find ways to balance the two and leave time for social ongoings.
Varsity Ohio: Talk about your time studying abroad in France; what was your experience like?
Juli: It was an incredible experience and an opportunity that I was very fortunate to have. It was different training alone for so long, but I actively communicated with my coaches and neither of us felt that it had any kind of negative impact on my training. It was a great opportunity to grow personally and couldn’t be happier with how it went.
Varsity Ohio: What are your goals athletically and academically?
Juli: The team goal for cross country for next year to win MAC’s. We have the potential to do it and it is a really important goal for us as a team. We have a really strong freshman class that we are really excited about. Academically, the goal is to finish with all A’s. Success in the classroom is really important to me.
Varsity Ohio: What are you plans post-Ohio?
Juli: I want to run professionally, and I’d love to find myself on the west coast. My master’s will be a consideration at some point in the future as well. Ultimately it’s all about being able to continue running and working in an area that I’m passionate about. There are a number of different things I could see myself doing and I’m excited to see where the next couple of years take me.
Varsity Ohio: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us, and good luck over the coming year!