ELON, N.C. -- Elon cross country coach and assistant track and field coach Nick Polk motivated his team ahead of the first track meet of the season against High Point University on a cold Thursday. Through the chatter and laughter during warmups, there's a missing part to their team.
"To run a mile it takes endurance, it takes speed," Polk said. "It's one of those events that's a really good mix of you have to be fast, but you also have to be strong. Molly has the ability to do both of those."
Polk was talking about Elon freshman Molly Offstein, who remains in critical condition after being hit by a car on her morning run earlier this month. She was airlifted to UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill with head, back and leg injuries.
"Now turning into motivation to not take any days for granted, not take the opportunity for granted," Polks said.
"Everything is for Molly now," said Kimberly Johansen, a teammate of Offstein's.
Offstein's father says Molly remains in a medically-induced coma and they found she had pneumonia on Monday. She still needs to go under surgery for injuries to her pelvis.
"She is so determined and strong," said teammate Corey Weiss. "We're so excited to see her come back."
Now hanging up outside Elon's track, a dozen pairs of well-worn running shoes. They hang on the phoenix statue at the football stadium as well. It's a reminder that while her teammates are running, Molly is on the first leg of her race to recovery, one her friends are confident she will finish strong.