Today we continue our student-athlete profile series, featuring senior Isabel Cardi (Media, Pa./Strath Haven). Coming to Dickinson as a sophomore transfer, Isabel has enjoyed much success with the women's cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field teams. She ran to All-America honors in both cross country and indoor track & field last year before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the spring sports season.
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 (UST&FCCCA) Mideast Region Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Year.
Isabel 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 Runner of the Year, winning the individual title while Head Coach Don Nichter earned Coach of the Year Honors. She was named All-Region and earned All-Conference honors in 2018 as well.
Isabel was ranked second in the nation in the 3000 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-America honors by qualifying with one of the top eight times in the country. In 2019, Isabel ran to All-America 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 3000 and 5000-meter events.
Below, Isabel talks about her experience at Dickinson and what she has been doing for the fall semester.
Hey Dickinson, my name is Isabel Cardi and I'm a senior on the cross country and track and field teams. I transferred to Dickinson going into my sophomore year and I chose Dickinson because I really wanted a smaller, liberal arts school after attending a larger state school. After touring campus and meeting with my coach, 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 welcomed. 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 cancelled, 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 that 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!