First of all, how did you first get involved
with track & field?
I started track and field in 8th grade. Previously, I had been a golfer, but when my gym teacher saw the way that I ran he had me do a test with the "big kids" (10th graders) it was the beep test. The beep test consisted of running 30 yards at the "beep" as the levels increased, the time one had between runs decreased. As an 8th grader I wiped them all out with a score of 105 -- the one closest to my score was a boy with 83. So my gym teacher asked me what I was doing that spring, and I responded with "golf." He responded with, "That'd be a waste of talent, you're doing track." So that's how it all started.
What are all your personal records?
300 meter hurdles - 45.33
100 meter hurdles - 15.43
Do you do, or have you done, any other sports?
I have played volleyball since 7th grade (high school and club). I participated in Nordic up until 10th grade, and have taken the past 2 seasons off to manage the girls basketball team and train for track. I was also a golfer up until 8th grade, and I still love going out to the driving range every once in a while.
With that type of stamina in the pacer, I would have thought you would have done distance events. What made you interested in hurdles?
I was actually in distance for the first month of track, but then the coaches saw that I could sprint, so they directed me towards hurdles!
What is your favorite or most memorable competition you've ever been in?
My favorite competition I've ever participated in would be section finals in 2016. I got to race in the 300 meter hurdles against Meleah Biermaier (the state champion from the year before and the current MN state record holder for 300 meter hurdles). She has been my idol since I had joined the track family. That was also the race that my dream of going to State came true with a second-place finish. She even hugged me at the end of the race because I had a brand new PR! *HAPPY DANCE*
Other than your own teammates, who are some of your favorite athletes to compete against?
As mentioned before, Meleah Biermaier. But I also love competing against Sabrina Fronning from Fergus Falls and Jodi Lipp from St. Cloud Tech. They are both amazing at what they do and they make me want to reach my goals that much more. There's nothing I love more than good competition -- that's what drives you.
Who are some people that have been most helpful to you in your athletic career?
I would say most definitely my 8th grade gym teacher, Kelly Luis. Without him having me to do track and field, I would still be on the green not even knowing what starting blocks were. I would also say my coaches right now, Meghan Orgeman-Crumb, Mike Empting, and Jerry Amundson. Meghan was awarded coach of the year last year and the reasons are pretty clear: she has a passion for the sport and invests all that she has into EACH athlete. She genuinely loves the sport and everything to do with it -- especially celebrating reached goals. She has pushed me places I never knew existed. She has encouraged me to do the last run in the set even when I was on my hands and knees puking on the track. She simply radiates love. I'm so grateful for her and what she does and has done for me these past 4 years. Empting is more of my dad than my coach. My own dad is amazing and so full of love, but he is active duty army, so I don't see him a lot. I see Empting more than I see my own dad, so he fills that role when my dad is away. He has impacted me with his pedantic self. He is so focused on the details -- from warm up to race time, "those knees better be high," and "those feet better be dorsi flexed." I have so much love for that big guy. And finally, Amundson. The man that made my State hurdle dream a reality. We have spent multiple nights on the track where we would be the last ones on the track and wouldn't come inside until 7 pm. He is the most dedicated coach and mentor there is. The best thing about him, is that although he retired last year, he came back to coach me for one more year. What a guy, huh?
What is your favorite or most effective workout you have done?
I'd say my favorite workout would have to be the 16 - 100s on the 30 seconds. It's a workout we do in the beginning of the year to get us in shape and to see who will stay.
What is a challenge you have had to face as an athlete?
There haven't been many. I've broken my fibula, and had multiple ingrown toenail surgeries because of clipping them on hurdles. I've had pulled muscles and sprained ankles. I also have exercised induced asthma. My head is in the game, but sometimes it's just my body holding me back. But I feel like that's just the price you pay for being an athlete. Injuries happen.
What are your main goals for this upcoming track season?
My ultimate goal is to break into the 43s in my 300 hurdle race and be a state champion. I would also like to reach 17 feet in long jump and get into the high-14s for my 100 meter hurdles. Other goals consist of what things are going to get me to my physical goals, such as eating healthy, -- which means no more pre-meet zebra cakes :( -- being a role model for the other 83 girls on the team, and getting plenty of sleep.
As a senior, what comments reflections do you have over your cross country career, and how have your perspectives, strategies, or attitudes changed since you first started running?
As a senior, a reflexion that I have is just how fast the time does go. Everyone says it flies, but you don't believe it until it happens. Each practice feels as if it's the hardest thing you've ever done, but you soon realize that you'll be missing them. Also, as an 8th grader, I thought that I would start to enjoy running. But, it's still a love-hate relationship.
(Photo provided by Syri Williams)
Do you have any college plans?
I do! I will be attending Bethel University to major in nursing. I will also be running track there! There's is nothing I love more than Jesus and running so I think it will be a great fit! I've met most of the team already and I am really looking forward to it! Coach Rock is amazing and words cannot describe how thankful for the opportunity to be coached under him.
Do you have any rituals, routines, or superstitions either on or off the track?
From nerves and motion sickness, I always throw up before meets. I have a special place where I puke at every track we go to. It just always happens! A routine I have is right before each race, I jump as high as I can in the air, twice and then stretch my legs back past the blocks right before I get in them. And my favorite ritual -- a prayer. Nothing calms the nerves like Jesus does.
When not doing anything track-related, what might we find you doing?
You can find me laughing. That's one of my favorite things to do. With friends, family, and sometimes strangers, there is scarce anything I love more than to put a smile on someone's face. I also love reading, taking baths (not ice baths), eating -- probably mac and cheese or pizza (even though the coaches aren't a big fan of those foods) -- and if I'm not doing those things, I am most likely watching The Office for the 5th time, or Star Wars (number watched is incomprehensible).
Tell me one bizarre fact about yourself
I'll give you three!
-I can chew 4 pieces of gum at a time and keep them separate.
-I was born in Colorado Springs, CO.
-Because I am an army brat, I moved 12 times in 12 years.