By Brady Busha
Freshman Sierra Polzin, a member of the Women’s Cross Country team, recently finished her first regular season. At the Midwest Conference Championship meet at Cornell College, Polzin placed in the top three of the 155 competitors running in the 6 kilometer race. Polzin finished the race with a time of 25:18.2, making her average mile time 6:47.0. She will compete in one more cross country race at the National Collegiate Athletic Assocation (NCAA) regional meet on Nov. 14. Polzin will also be competing on the indoor and outdoor track teams during the Winter and Spring Terms.
Where are you from? What drew you to Lawrence?
I’m from Denmark, Wis. It’s near Green Bay. The atmosphere of the university definitely drew me here, as well as the academic reputation.
What is the mentality like, getting ready for a race? How do you stay focused?
Mentality is a really important part. Running in general is a really mental sport, and you have to be prepared for the worst. Thinking beforehand about the weather or being tired, having a positive attitude, and being focused on finishing [are all] very important. I listen to music on the bus rides, and think only about positive things. I also think about the race a couple of days before just so I can take a few moments to really focus on it.
Now that the regular season’s over, what has been your favorite part of the whole experience?
I really enjoyed being able to run with all of my amazing teammates, being inspired by what they do, and how strong they are. They’re great motivation.
What’s the one thing you’re really looking forward to for the rest of this year as a Lawrence student?
Continuing to grow academically as well as as an athlete. I’m really looking forward to it.
How different does competing at Lawrence feel from competing in high school?
It’s a lot different. In high school, I didn’t have as many commitments. We didn’t have team meetings, practices weren’t as long and we had no team bonding sessions. But now, with all of those things, I do a lot more as a result of being a part of the team, but I also get more out of it.
How have your teammates helped you with your transition into the life of a collegiate student-athlete?
My teammates have been very supportive. They ask, not just me, but all of us, how we’re doing in school, and do their best to help out everybody.
So, Lawrence, as a team, placed 8th at the MWC Championships. Heading into the post season now, what do you think needs to happen for this team?
I think we all just need to keep training. We might not be in regular season, but we need to stay focused, to keep pushing each other, to stay on top of one another and to hold each other accountable for what we’re doing in the offseason. Remaining positive is also big going into next year too.