How Taylor Kreitinger's 'Conditioning Sport' Took Off

Taylor Kreitinger, Class of 2019 - Byron High School

What are all your personal records? What State Meet competitions have you been in, and what were your results?

My personal records include in the 400 meters (61.03) 800 meters (2:13.35) and the 1600 meter (5:03.90). I primarily race in the 800-meter run, 4x400 meter relay, and the 4x800 meter relay.

I have competed at the Minnesota State Meet since I was an eighth grader. My eighth-grade year I competed in the 800 (placed 7th) and 1600 (placed 3rd). My freshman year I competed in the 1600 meter (placed 2nd) and the 4x800 meter relay (placed 8th). My sophomore year I competed in the 1600 meter (placed 2nd) and 800 meter (placed 2nd). My junior year I competed in the 800 meter (placed 2nd) and the 4x200 meter relay (placed 5th).

How did you first get involved with track, and what other sports have you done?

I first got involved with track my seventh-grade year. I was deciding to either go out for softball or track and field. I ended up choosing track and field because I wanted to have additional conditioning for soccer. Up until my senior year soccer season, soccer had always been my primary sport. I have played soccer since I was 4 years old, and I never thought that my "conditioning" season would eventually turn into what it is now.

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

My favorite competition is always the True Team Section Meet. Although it is quite nerve-racking, our team is extremely supportive, and the meet gives every single runner a chance to be a part of the win. Last year, we made it to True Team State, and it was an experience that I will never forget. The energy of the meet was fantastic! Every athlete would cheer their school on, and afterward we went out for pasta as a team which is always a bonus!

Tell me a standout memory that is athletics-related, but not competition-related.

A standout memory is always the UW-Stout overnight meet. Our team uses this meet as more of a team bonding experience, so we get pizza, swim, and hang out with one another. It is always my favorite meet because it is our first meet, and it is a great opportunity to become closer as a team!

Who are some of your favorite athletes to compete against?

My favorite athlete to compete against is a friend from Triton High School, Nell Graham. Her younger sister is actually on our track team, and they both are extremely kind and fun to be around! Nell is an extremely hard and competitive worker, and she pushes me to run my best when we race against one another. She is the type of individual who never lets competition get the best of her, and I think that is the main reason why we push one another so well because we want the other to succeed.

Who are some people that have been most helpful to you in your athletic career, and how have they helped you?

My family, friends, and coaches have been the most helpful to me in my athletic career. My family attends all of my sporting events, and they never once have questioned my dreams. They believe in me, and they give me the drive to improve every day as an overall individual. My friends motivate me as well because each one of them is extremely determined through their passions. Lastly, my coaches are fantastic leaders and role models. Both my soccer and track and field coaches play a vital role in the person that I have become. They challenge me day in and day out to push myself to reach the best of my ability.

Who might we find cheering for you at competitions?  

My friends and family are always cheering me on during my competitions. Whether it be at a soccer game or track meet, I always have tremendous support, and it means a lot to me. My family rarely misses a competition, and my friends have always gone the extra mile to support me as I have for them. I'm extremely fortunate to have such a wonderful support system.

What are you and your teammates looking forward to the most this year?

My teammates and I are mostly looking forward to the conference meet and the True Team Section Meet. Our program has historically competed fairly well, and we want to continue to raise the bar. We want to win our HVL Conference for the eighth time in a row, and we also want to compete at the True Team State Meet again. Overall, we are looking forward to competing as a team, together.

Tell me a bit about your recruitment and how you ended up choosing to attend the University of Minnesota.

I chose the University of Minnesota because I felt at home. I had visited various colleges around the Midwest, but the U felt like home the moment I stepped on campus. There are a wide variety of activities, restaurants, entertainment, etc that Minneapolis has to offer, and it was very important to have that accessable to me during college. Also, their academic programs are outstanding, and I want to become a doctor, so I believe that I can obtain the best education to become what I aspire to be. Additionally, the University of Minnesota's Track and Field team withholds everything that I could ever want. Their facility is outstanding: the track, weight room, academic center, interview center, tutoring, nutrition center, Athlete's Village, etc. It withholds above and beyond what a student-athlete needs to become successful during and after their time competing as a Gopher. Another reason why I chose to run at the U was that the coaches and runners are always extremely friendly and welcoming. I felt like I was already a part of the family during my visit. The atmosphere that the program radiates as a whole continues to raise my excitement for next fall!

How did you come to decide to start running cross country in college?

I am running cross country for the first time ever this upcoming fall for the Gophers. I spoke with the U's coaches about this because I was hesitant at first just because I have always played soccer in the fall. However, I concluded that it was the best decision for my as an athlete overall. My conditioning and relationships with the other runners will be at an advantage come the actual track season. Although I am nervous about running Cross Country for the first time, I am extremely excited with what possibilities and opportunities it is going to present.

Tell me one bizarre fact about yourself.

My favorite food are avocados!