By Vince Carango

Madonna freshman Bianca Kubicki reached a cross country runner’s dream in her first season as a Crusader. 

Kubicki ended her freshman season as the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference champion, WHAC female runner of the year, and earned a trip to the NAIA national championship where she represented Madonna University.

Early in her first season, however, she had a few obstacles to overcome.  Kubicki was faced with an incorrect diagnosis where she was lead to believe she had an allergic reaction when it was really an infected tooth. 

The infection eventually spread into her sinuses and caused her to miss the first race of the season, and miss eight days of training.

“She worked extremely hard and improved over the next four meets to the point we felt pretty confident she would be a top-seven runner at the conference meet and qualify for the NAIA nationals,” said women’s cross country coach Patrick Dougherty.

Kubicki exceeded expectations again, running a “perfect race” as coach Dougherty proudly put it, and captured an individual title in her first season.

“I put in the time and effort to catch up after my time off, and it is great to see it pay off,” said Kubicki.

At the WHAC conference championship, Kubicki ran an 18:37:30 to lead the Crusaders to a third-place team finish in the conference, their highest result in school history.  At the NAIA national championship, Kubicki ran a 19:14 and placed 77th.

“All of our freshman exceeded my expectations as far as work ethic and determination,” said Dougherty. “Now with more experience, I am looking for this team to use it and take the next step in collegiate running.”



Kubicki represents Madonna on national stage