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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Terp sisters part of bigger family as they run Cross Country

For sisters Kristy and Carly Terp, Mississippi State University’s cross country runs in their blood. Kristy, a senior biological science pre-med major and Carly, a graduate student studying health promotion, have a friendly rivalry not only between each other, but also with their mom, a former MSU cross country runner.

Head coach Houston Franks, who is also a former MSU cross country runner, testified to the special connection with MSU.

“There’s just something about Mississippi State. It just gets in the blood and becomes part of you,” Franks said.

Kristy and Carly’s mom played a key role in shaping the sisters into the phenomenal runners they are today. She encouraged them to try the sport in middle school, and although Carly initially only wanted to play volleyball, her sister’s growing love for cross country eventually won her over.

As the sisters grew older and began their college searches, they said MSU was definitely on the radar, as it was their mom’s alma mater.

“Since I’m older, I got to pick the school for us,” Carly said, jokingly.

The sisters are very close, and said they enjoy being at the same school and on the same team.

Unfortunately, Kristy suffered a bad hamstring injury from running and just recently had hamstring surgery, a recovery that will prevent her from competing in the 2018 season. Although she cannot compete, Kristy said she still helps out her team in any way she can.

“My (goal for the season) is to get better, but also be supportive and encouraging to my teammates,” Kristy said.

Carly has had one of her best seasons yet, as she is injury free after battling various injuries since freshman year. The sisters joke it is nearly impossible for them to both be at full capacity simultaneously.

“It’s kind of funny, we joke about it: whenever I’m hurt, she’s running well, and when she’s hurt, I’m running,” Carly said.

Carly finished 18th at the Falcon Classic on Sept. 15, and said this is the first season she has put races together to truly show her talents.

“Carly’s doing absolutely wonderful right now,” Franks said. “She’s very talented and a tough little thing.”

Like Kristy, Carly’s main focus is to help the team succeed and make it to nationals, and she recognizes this goal is accomplished through every team member performing to the best of their individual ability.

“I just want to be able to contribute to my team in a way that is reaching my full potential, and just helping everyone else to push themselves to reach their full potential, too,” Carly said. “To make it to nationals would be good, too.”

For the Terps, a trip to the NCAA nationals in Madison, Wisconsin, would be a return to their home state.

The sisters said their favorite thing about Mississippi is the food. For Carly, this means specifically Restaurant Tyler’s cheese grits. Kristy appreciates all of Starkville’s restaurants and Mississippi’s mild winters.

Both sisters say the MSU cross country team is special because so many people from so many different places come together over the sport.

“Something that’s really cool about the team is that we’re all from different places, it’s always been that way. There are (runners from) Wisconsin, Florida, Louisiana, Australia,” Carly said. “So I think that’s really cool. We’re all from different places, but we’re still able to connect.”  

Carly, many years removed from her reluctant start to cross country in middle school, said her favorite aspect of cross country is also her least favorite.

“My least and most favorite thing (about cross country) is probably the same: pushing your body to it’s limit,” Carly said.

Franks agreed cross country takes an incredible amount of perseverance and drive. The team competes nearly year-round in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track, and the small break they have in the summer is spent running the most miles to prepare for the upcoming cross-country season.

“A lot of people think the more you do this, ‘Oh, it gets easier.’ It doesn’t get any easier for them, they just go faster. It takes a tough physical and mental person to be successful at this.” Franks said.

Franks said the team has had a great start to the 2018 season, but has plenty to improve upon, and will focus on getting better week by week.  

The MSU cross country team will compete in the Arturo Barrios Invitational on Oct. 13 in College Station, Texas, and then in the SEC championships on Oct. 26 in Auburn, Alabama.

About the Contributor
Hannah Blankenship
Hannah Blankenship, Former Editor-in-Chief
Hannah Blankenship served as Editor-in-Chief of The Reflector from 2021 to 2022. She also served as the Managing Editor from 2020 to 2021 and as the News Editor from 2019 to 2020. Hannah was named College Journalist of the Year at the 2022 Southeastern Journalism Conference.
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Terp sisters part of bigger family as they run Cross Country