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Sarah Larson- Big Ten Cross Country Runner

Year in school: Junior 

Hometown: Lincoln, NE 

Major: Business Administration 

What made you choose to come to UNL? 

Rich tradition and convenient. Wouldn’t want to go any where else. 

How long have you been running? Cross country, specifically?

I’ve been running since freshman year of high school when I started track. I played softball instead of XC.. I would run after softball practice and train specifically in the winter to get ready for track in the spring. I just started Cross Country my freshman year at Nebraska. 

How did you become interested in running? 

Not really sure, I’ve always had a natural endurance so I chose to do the longer races in track while in high school. I loved the feeling after a run or race–trying to get that natural high is why I run. 

Did you run x-country in high school? What was it like? 

Actually, funny thing.. I didn’t do XC in high school because I played softball. I was on competitive leagues while growing up so softball was my dream. 

How did you become a runner on the UNL x-country team? 

I was recruited my junior year in high school. It was more of my “break-out” year and things started from there. Everything happened so natural and just fell into place pretty smoothly. 

What has this experience been like for you? 

Rewarding and honoring. being from Nebraska and having the opportunity to represent my home state is humbling. I wear Nebraska across my chest proudly and always try to be the best that I can be. 

What is the hardest part of being a x-country runner in college? 

The hardest part of being a college runner is never having an off season. Running in college is 3 seasons out of 3 seasons. I think many people tend to overlook that aspect. We are constantly training and racing. We start with xc in the fall, move to indoor track, then outdoor track. Once that is done, summer training begins for us–but that is on our own as our coach gives us recommended workouts. I wouldn’t trade it for the wolrd though, I think we as runners enjoy it or otherwise we wouldn’t be doing it. 

What is the greatest part? 

Being part of a team who sets out to accomplish a goal. Constantly being able to improve yourself is rewarding and holds high satisfaction. 

Would you choose to do it again? 

Yes, I would do it all over again.. but once my career is finished here at Nebraska, I will be ready to enter the real world. 

How has this season been for you? 

This season has been pretty good. A few bumps in the road but as a runner that is always expected. I had Anterior Compartment Surgery on both of my legs in late April, which hindered my summer training base. During the first week of school while practicing, I went down pretty hard with heat exhaustion and was taken to the ER. Staying positive and to keep working hard has been my focus. 

What are practices like? 

Practices vary day to day. Some days we will have two-a-days and then lifting. other days for us consist of an easy mileage day. Coach does a good job with our workouts. 

Is it a challenge managing school, friends, and running on the x-country team? 

No, not too tough. It’s all about time management and how you want to spend your free time.

What are the meets like? 

Meets are a unique atmosphere. Bunch of runners all preparing for the same thing so it’s kind of a neat thing. This year we as a team (boys and girls) have a good time together. Bus and plane rides are pretty fun and there are lots of laughs. So many memories made that I won’t forget! 

Did you ever imagine you would be running competitively in college?

Nope, not in my wildest dream. Playing Division 1 softball was always my goal. Like I said, the running gig fell into place for me and it all happened so naturally. I love running and am so fortunate for this opportunity.

Do you have to try out every year? Or do you stay apart of the team all four years of college? 

There’s no try-out necessarily. It is up to each individual to pull their own weight on the team and all of it starts with summer training. 

What are your future plans after college? 

After college, finding a job is a must haha. I would like to work with Human Resource or something with Sales. I have so much I want to do! 

What are your career goals? 

My career goals consist of working where I can create a positive environment for employees and influence health and positivity. creating an atmosphere where employees enjoy coming to work is among my goals. 

How would you describe yourself in three words? 

Determined, genuine, positive



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