Owning With Owen Keiser

(Photo provided by Owen Keiser)

First of all, how did you first get involved with track and field?

I got involved in track and field as a seventh grader, and I really found my passion for running that year as I was also involved in cross country. My dad was a main contributor in me becoming a runner as he was an All-American runner at Mankato State and an Olympic Trial Marathon qualifier in 2000.

What are all your personal records?

1600m - 4:29

3200m - 10:01 (I'm working on this one)

800m - 2:03

Do you do, or have you done, any other sports?

I also am involved in cross country and was All-State for the past two years, placing 18th and 13th at state. I also used to be a swimmer and placed at State many times before I took on running full time.

Coming from a running family, did you always think you were going to be a runner, or is it something you didn't think would be a passion of yours until you started?

Coming from a running family, I think my dad always knew that I was going to be a runner, but I first found my passion in sports with swimming. I started swimming at 9 and continued until I was 14. I had some great success from swimming and made the podium at State multiple times. After that, running became my full time passion as I realized I was burning out of swimming and I couldn't stay in good swimming shape. Right from my first cross country race in seventh grade, which was a 1600m loop around a field, I knew running was going to be the sport for me. From there I continued to improve and was the number 1 runner on my cross country team by my freshman year.

What is your favorite or most memorable competition you've ever been in?

My most memorable competition was at section true-team last year where I ran my PR in the 1600m. I got to run against my favorite competitor and we worked together to run super-fast and it felt really amazing.

(Photo provided by Owen Keiser)

Other than your own teammates, who are some of your favorite athletes to compete against?

My favorite competitor to run against is Cole Streich from Waseca. He always pushes me to PRs and we give a great race to watch whenever we compete against each other. I also really loved racing Alex Wischnack from Norwood, we became really good friends before he left for college at Gustavus.

Who are some people that have been most helpful to you in your athletic career?

People that have been the most influential in my athletic career include my coaches, Ben Nylander and Hollie Penny, as well as my parents. They have really helped me become the best I can be.

What is a challenge you have had to face as an athlete?

A challenge that I have faced as an athlete is becoming injured. Last track season I came down with a stress fracture in my lower tibia the week before sections. It was devastating and I was hoping to place at state that year. I also had a stress fracture in the same place on the other leg the year before.

In dealing with that ill-timed injury, how did you keep yourself motivated to come back as strong as you did for last XC season?

As far as the injury, it was tough for me because I was out until about two weeks before the start of the season for cross country. My motivation was to come back stronger than ever and fight through my downfall, and I did just that. My first 5k race that season ended up being a PR by 5 seconds. I felt great and it gave me a sense of relief that the season was going to go well. I also became ranked individually shortly after and that definitely helped keep me going, I had to prove myself.

What are your main goals for this upcoming track season?

My main goal for the upcoming track season is to place at state in the 1600m and 3200m.

(Photo provided by Owen Keiser)

Do you have any college plans?

I have plans for college and right now I am interested in the UW-Eau Claire and UW-Oshkosh as well as Pitzer College out in California.

What are you looking for in you college of choice, and what attracts you to the three schools you mentioned?

In a college, I am looking for a smaller DIII school that will allow me to have a close knit team and stellar academics at the same time. Pitzer College completely fits what I am looking for in a college and I am very excited to visit it this summer. I am attracted to UW-Eau Claire because they have been one of the best Dlll running programs in the nation in recent years. I like Oshkosh because they are a building team and I think I could be a good fit there as well. 

Do you have any rituals, routines, or superstitions either on or off the track?

Lexie, my best friend and fellow track athlete, and I always take ice baths the day before a track meet to help get our muscles ready and we have to do one before every meet

When not doing anything track-related, what might we find you doing?

I am also involved in Speech and many extracurriculars including Student Council and National Honors Society.

Tell me one bizarre fact about yourself.

I have a double-jointed thumb that bends almost all the way to my wrist.