Alicia Guridy continues to make her mark on the community in Tappahannock. The former long distance standout at Essex High School, Guridy continued her trend at Liberty University. Now she is sharing her own lessons and is looking back at her first season as coach of the St. Margaret’s School Cross Country Team.
“I ran for 11 years and it’s always been a big part of my life, so I just definitely jumped at the opportunity,” said Guridy.
She is also the daughter of current Essex cross country coach Cid Guridy.
“He was very happy, especially that I would be close to home and he thought I would be going into coaching someday,” Guridy said. “He’s been a coaching for 18 years, so I guess I’m following in his footsteps.”
Alicia began her career running at an early age running with her father in Dover, New Hampshire. Next to being in the same awards banquet with olympian Lynn Jennings, their fondest memory of those days came at Alicia’s expense when she crashed into a sign during her first race in middle school.
This was one of many iconic moments in her life where she showed resilience. In response, she dusted herself off and joined the following race with the boys.
“It was hard at first, but once I got use to the endurance part I liked it,” Alicia said, after emerging into a runner who ran on a consistent basis.
Alicia went on to become a two-time captain in cross country, and four-time state qualifier in both track and field and cross country at Essex before graduating in 2007.
She was a good runner, Cid said, comparing them to Division III colleges.
“But knowing she was heading to Liberty University, a NCAA Division 1 program, she didn’t think she had the speed to compete,” Cid said.
So she took the year to be a team manager and years to follow became faster.
“Alicia upped her mileage to 60 miles per week and gradually over the next three years brought her 5K times down to the mid 18 minutes,” Cid said.
The proud father said he was excited when she was able to join the Liberty team her sophomore season and continue it until she graduated.
“I’m just really proud of her for sticking with it and getting better with her times. Now her 12-year-old sister wants to follow sissy in her footsteps. So it’s kind of cool,” Cid said. “She has always had a desire to go there.”
Alicia was a member of t the Big-South Three-peat champions in cross country and help in five indoor and outdoor track and field titles.
Contrary to what others may think, Alicia said didn’t leave Essex High as a Division 1 runner. She worked at becoming one and by graduation received a full scholarship.
“I just saw it as the impossible. Never thought I would be running on the Division 1 level,” Alicia said. “I tell these girls they may not have the times that are compatible with it, but if they work hard, have the heart and desire to do it they can make things happen.”
Before the season ended, Guridy said that all of her girls improved on their times.
“I really enjoyed them so much they are awesome girls and they’ve done really well,” Alicia said. “I just hope for their personal improvement and for them to enjoy running because it’s something you can do not just for high school, but something to keep yourself fit.”
Alicia graduated with a bachelor’s in English education and is studying to earn her master’s degree. She will also be helping coach the Bridgewater College Track & Field Team this spring.
Top Efforts at Liberty
1,000 – 3:23.25 (Indoor)
1,500 – 5:02.42
Mile – 5:20.55 (Indoor)
3K – 10:53.70 (Indoor)
3K SC – 11:52.25
5K – 18:15.99 (Indoor)
10K – 39:47.59
Information provided by Liberty Athletics Department.