By Adam Levine
Amanda Bedard, 22, was a captain of the women’s cross-country team during the 2023 season. She also ran on the women’s track and field team during her time at FSU.
Bedard, an early education major, graduated after the Fall 2023 Semester and hopes to be a kindergarten teacher.
“I've just always loved working with kids,” she said. “I just really enjoy it. They're so fun and happy and I like how excited they get about everything.”
Bedard said she is only licensed as an early-childhood teacher and she doesn’t want to teach older students. “Once they get taller than me, I'm like, ‘No. No. No. No.’”
Originally from Paxton, Bedard said she grew up playing soccer and did not begin running track until her sophomore year at Wachusett High School.
“I did soccer my whole life, but I was so bad,” she said. “I loved the running part. I would always be the first one to the ball and then I would literally freeze because I didn't like being aggressive.”
Bedard said, “With running, I like that it's just you - it's very friendly.”
She said she started just running track and began running cross-country her senior year of high school.
Bedard said she likes running cross-country more than track and field. “I loved it more than track, which was surprising because I was like, ‘5K for every race? That sounds terrible.’”
She said she ran the 5K and 10K races during the track and field season, which she said is her favorite race.
Bedard said, “Even though it's the most brutal mind game - terrible 6.2 miles on the track - like, terrible - but honestly I feel like you can really challenge yourself and see you're pushing yourself so much mentally as well as physically. So, I honestly like it - that’s when I feel the most accomplished.”
She said she chose FSU because of the education program and her experience during her overnight stay while being recruited to run here.
Bedard said her favorite parts of campus besides the team are the classes and the professors. “I just feel like it's really easy to find a support network super quickly.”
She said her favorite part of the team is how “supportive” everyone is.
Bedard said, “We care about each other so much.
“I know if I have a bad day or a bad workout they're all going to be there still cheering me on and they support me regardless of my performance,” she added.
Camille Carvalho, 21, was a captain of the women’s cross-country team during the 2023 season. She also ran on the women’s track and field team during her time at FSU.
Carvalho, a sociology major and Spanish minor, graduated after the Fall 2023 Semester.
She said she either wants to go into pre-law and work with immigration or domestic violence, or work for a non-profit.
“My parents are both immigrants,” Carvalho said. “I'm Brazilian and I've seen how a lack of resources, or lack of awareness of resources, has affected the immigrant community.”
Originally from Spencer, she said she played soccer and ran track and field in high school until she got too many concussions. She then ran cross-country her junior and senior years.
Carvalho said, “I think a part of my heart will always go out to soccer, but I think that cross-country - the atmosphere of a cross-country team - is so much different.
“Knowing that you're competing, that you're working as a team, but competing against yourself is definitely a different kind of battle,” she added.
“I am definitely a long distance runner,” she said. “I ran the 2-mile and the mile mostly in high school and then now for track I ran the 10K and the 5K.”
She said, “I definitely have an unattainable dream of running a half marathon and a reach goal of running a marathon.”
Carvalho said her favorite part of the team at FSU is how “genuine” everyone is, both her coaches and her teammates.
She said, “I'm just really grateful for the program and for everything that it's taught me.
“It has taught me a lot more about myself not only as a runner, but it's definitely put me in situations to grow as a person - overcoming obstacles that you didn't think that you would have to face,” Carvalho added.
Gwen Madden, 21, was a captain of the women’s cross-country team during the 2023 season and is a captain for the women’s track and field team this upcoming season.
Madden, a criminology major, is a member of the Rams’ Class of 2024 and hopes to work in law enforcement after graduating.
She said she has family members who work in law enforcement and the field has always interested her.
Originally from Raynham, Madden said she began running during her sophomore year at Bridgewater-Raynham High School.
She said, “I originally did it to get ready for lacrosse, but I kind of just fell in love with it and decided to keep going with that instead of lacrosse.”
Madden said she ran winter and spring track and field beginning her sophomore year and began running cross-country during her junior year.
She said she was recruited to run at FSU, specifically by her high-school teammate Emily Newcomb.
Madden said her favorite part of the University besides the team is going to sporting events and showing support for other athletes.
She said her favorite memory competing for FSU was during the Spring 2023 track and field season. She was a member of the 4x800-meter team, which was the first team in FSU women’s track and field history to qualify for the DIII Championship meet.
Madden said her favorite part of the team is how close everyone is. “I like how friendly we are and we're all just very close.
“We’re our biggest supporters of each other,” she added.
Becca Morris, 22, was a captain of the women’s cross-country team during the 2023 season and is a captain for the women’s track and field team this upcoming season.
Morris, a psychology major, is a member of the Rams’ Class of 2024.
She said she wants to be a mental health counselor for ages above 13 years old.
“Growing up, I went to therapy and I felt like it helped me a lot,” Morris said. “I want to be able to help people who are struggling with the same things that I've struggled with.”
Originally from the Berkshires, she said she began running at a young age because of her older brothers, Zach and Josh, both of whom Morris said have been inspirations for her as a runner.
She said, “When they would have meets, I'd run alongside them and try to be part of the team.
“I grew up knowing that's what my family liked, so I started to do it and follow in their footsteps,” Morris added.
She said she is “more of a track runner than cross-country.”
Morris said she runs the 400-meter hurdles because one of her brothers hurdled.
“Now I can say that I'm faster than them, but they used to be a lot faster than I was,” she said.
Morris joined the women’s track and field team her sophomore year and the 2023 season was her second season as a member of the women’s cross-country team.
She said she chose FSU because, “When I toured, I felt the most welcomed here.
“I think that the whole school in itself is small enough too, where everybody knows everybody and it gives you that ‘fRAMily’ aspect,” Morris added.
She said her favorite parts of campus are the environment and the resources offered. “I like being able to have a quiet place to go when I don't want to be in my room and to study - it’s just nice to have those resources.”
Morris said she doesn’t have a favorite memory being a member of the two teams on campus. “Every day is a good memory because I feel like our team is a good size and a good mix of silly and chaotic that every day seems like the best kind of day.
“I like coming in not knowing what we're going to expect,” she added.