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Edison's Quinn Has a New Attitude : Cross-country: Senior gains confidence after controlling asthma and moving to front of pack.


HUNTINGTON BEACH — The Edison girls' cross-country team is not lacking leadership.

Whether the Chargers rally behind 1992's newfound talent Elyse Homberger, seniors Janndee Evans or Danielle Eldridge, twin juniors Jeannie and Jennifer Formosa or even second-year head Coach Kristi McGihon, the defending Southern Section Division II champions have always run into success.

The 1993 cross-country season has given four-year varsity veteran Carrie Quinn a shot at steering the Edison ship. After three years running in the sixth and seventh positions for the Sunset League champion teams, Quinn has moved to the front of the Edison pack as a senior.

Quinn realizes that with moving from the back to the front, there are added responsibilities, but she tries to not let them weigh on her.

"All I know is that if I am running as hard as I can and I happen to be the sixth man, that's good for the team," said Quinn, who along with the rest of her teammates were spectators at the Woodbridge-Rotary Club Cross-Country Invitational this past weekend. Quinn and her teammates had the weekend off.

Edison is perennially one of Orange County's finest teams, but Quinn is quick to point out that the team concept is the key to the Chargers' success.

"The team is the most important thing to me this year," said Quinn, who has a 3.9 grade-point average. "You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don't run as a team, you'll never get anywhere."

Quinn and the rest of her Edison teammates learned this lesson the hard way, finishing a disappointing third in the CIF State Championships after winning the league and section titles.

"I don't think any of us realized the importance of being a team last year, and it definitely hurt us," Quinn said.

Quinn has a new outlook this season, thanks to a changed attitude and a controlled situation regarding her asthma.

"Working with Carrie this year has been like night and day compared to last season," McGihon said. "She pushes every workout and is very supportive of all the other girls."

Asthma played a large part in Quinn's late-season disappointment a year ago, finishing in 83rd place at the State meet in 20:56. This year, she is under the care of a specialist and taking three medications to keep it in check.

"When you run with asthma, you never know when it is going to hit," said Quinn, who was the county's second-fastest runner in the Laguna Hills Invitational two weeks ago. "But I do know, the more nervous I get before a race, the better the chance it will be there."

Quinn gains confidence as her running progresses, decreasing the threat of asthma attacks.

"I just don't let things get to me anymore," Quinn said. "I just don't get really nervous anymore, whatever happens happens."

Quinn, who finished seventh in the league finals last season and narrowly missed the 1,600-meter section finals, does have her future to be excited about.

The letters and phone calls from colleges have been pouring in since school started, but Quinn doesn't want to choose yet.

"Wherever Carrie decides to continue her running, whether she is the first or eighth runner, she will make a definite contribution," McGihon said.

But for now, Quinn will just stick to what she likes best, being a part of the Edison team.

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