|Photo courtesy of St Olaf|
Senior, Cross country, Nordic skiing, outdoor track
St. Paul, MN/Como Park
Do you have any nicknames?
Sometimes people call me “Em” or “E.” I’m hoping that “E-Money” catches on.
Why did you choose to be a Division III student-athlete?
The main reason I chose St. Olaf over any non-DIII schools was that it is one of the few colleges in the Midwest with a Nordic ski team. Only a couple of DI and DII schools showed any interest in me as a runner. I knew that I wanted to continue to do varsity sports in college, but I also wanted to go to a small school with a strong academic background. St. Olaf fit the bill: I knew that I would be able to train and compete in the sports that I loved, but my coaches and teammates would also support my aspirations as a student.
What do you like most about competing in the MIAC?
The range of ability levels of MIAC athletes continually amazes me. I have run and skied against all-Americans and against people who have never participated in sports before. I value the spirit of inclusiveness that most of the MIAC schools show, and I also enjoy being able to compete with extremely talented individuals at conference and national levels.
What has been the greatest part of your collegiate athletic career thus far?
Being a student-athlete has turned me into much more of a team player, even though my sports are considered individual. In high school, few of my teammates were very dedicated to running or skiing, so I accepted a program of training hard and training alone in order to be successful. When I came to college, I discovered that not only were most of my teammates extremely passionate about athletics, this passion was present regardless of their ability level. I love feeling like I am part of a cause greater than myself—where everyone works his or her tail off to be a better athlete and to boost the team, even if it doesn’t mean scoring points or qualifying for a race. It’s not just about me doing my own thing anymore; my teams are my family, and I can help myself by helping them.
What is your greatest sports moment?
The most incredible experience I ever had was at the national cross country meet my sophomore year. I knew I was having a good race—I kept moving up and didn’t feel tired. With about a mile to go, I saw my coach’s husband, and he yelled at me, “Yes you can!” At that moment, I felt like I could do anything. I knew I was in an All-American spot. Someone told me what place I was in, and I count down as I picked people off: 20… 19… 18… I was in 17th place coming into the last 600 meters. I gave everything I could and passed seven people. When I saw my name on the finishers’ board in 10th place, I was elated—I couldn’t believe it had happened.