Grace Ping Commits to Oklahoma State University

How did you first get your start in running?
I first got started with running when I was really young. My mom ran in high school and college and then when my parents started dating they would run together. Eventually, it became a family thing for us
and I grew up doing road races with my parents and siblings.

What was your favorite memory of running in Minnesota?
My favorite memory running in Minnesota is probably the state cross country meet my sophomore year. All of my family and friends were there to support, my team had a really fun weekend leading up to the race, and I ran really well. Overall I just felt an overwhelming sense of community and support having so many people there for my team and me, it was so much fun.

What do you miss most about competing at Cotter?
I think I probably miss the sense of community most. Living in Minnesota my whole life, lots of people knew me for running and supported my running, including my school administration, teammates, and coaches. Outside of Cotter I had so many runner friends within the state and always knew people at meets which was really fun. Moving to Arizona, and not knowing anyone, I missed that a lot.
How is the competition in Arizona compared to Minnesota?
I'm not exactly sure how to compare the competition, but cross-country as a whole is much different. In regular years, we are able to go to many very competitive races in California, whereas in Minnesota we weren't allowed to go out of state until the postseason. However, thein-state meets are really small compared to Minnesota meets and the courses almost always include cement or gravel at least a few times which is different from the grassy, golf course racing that I was used to.

How did you choose Oklahoma State over the many other offers that I'm sure you had?
It was definitely a tough decision. I chose Oklahoma State for many reasons, I definitely had the most confidence in the coaches and also the best relationship with the coaches there, the campus is very clean
and pretty, many athletes have had success in there program and after (post-collegiately), and the girls on the team are really nice. There are many more reasons, but those are probably the main ones

What are you most looking forward to at Oklahoma State?
I'm most looking forward to training on a team with a lot of other fast girls. 

What kind of goals and aspirations do you have for your running career after high school?
I am really excited for collegiate running because I know that I have so much more in me. My goals are definitely set high and I am excited to work towards those both on the individual and team level.

Do you think Lauren (Ping) will follow in your footsteps and go to Oklahoma State?

She's probably more likely to go to Oklahoma State than any other school right now, but I really have no idea.