This week I sat down with senior Bjorn Gowdy-Jaehnig. After four years on the Men’s Tack & Field team as a sprinter, Gowdy-Jaehnig looks back fondly of his time at Lawrence, as well as looks forward to a great future beyond Lawrence.
Arianna Cohen: Congrats on finishing a successful senior season! What has been the major contributor to your success these past four years?
Bjorn Gowdy-Jaehnig: Thank you very much. The last four years I think the biggest thing for me has been having the teammates that I’ve had [and] the seniors that I’ve been running with. They’ve really kept me on the team and really kept me motivated to go to practice and practice hard every day. I always had them there during workouts, during breaks, they have been really motivating. They’ve really kept me here.
AC: What goes through your mind when you think of this being your final season as a Viking?
BGJ: It’s kind of a mixed feeling. On the one hand, I’m never going to be on a track team and even going to track meets and running in the same way weather or not I continue running in the future. At the same time, I have definitely struggled these past four years, especially struggled with injury and to finally be able to take a full break as long as I need to recover myself mentally and especially physically before going into whatever I have in the future is definitely a wonderful feeling. But I don’t think it’s quite hit me yet that I won’t be going to practice in a couple of weeks.
AC: How do you mentally prepare for a meet?
BGJ: It definitely starts for me being very introspective, looking inside of myself and focusing on that. I know a lot of people go outside and think about the team and pay attention outside of themselves, but for me I just go by myself and figure out where I am mentally and then get where I need to be mentally. That starts the night before, I’m usually either by myself watching something on Netflix or doing homework. Even in the morning I get on the bus and I talk [and] joke less than other people because I’m very quiet and focusing on that.
AC: Do you have any advice for incoming freshman looking to run sprints in college?
BGJ: Make it fun. If running isn’t fun, it becomes very hard to motivate yourself term after term. [Some runners] have cross country in the fall, but sprinters still are a three-term sport. In order to go to practice every day for three terms in a row for four years you have to love it, make every practice fun and make that a huge focus of it.
AC: If there is one final thing you could say to your teammates before graduation, what would it be?
BGJ: Thank you for all the influence you’ve had for me at Lawrence. It’s definitely been the largest contributor to why I’ve loved my four years at Lawrence. It’s been great with all of my teammates through all four years.