By Liz Lyon (‘12)Staff Writer
At the Occidental Distance Carnival on March 11, Jennifer Tavé (’12) set a new personal and CMS record. Her time of 35.22.27, a personal best she had been waiting to record officially since winter break, made her the top-ranked female runner in the nation for the 10k. The record automatically qualified Tavé for the NCAA Division III National Championships on May 27-29.
In addition to being first on the national list in the 10k, Tavé has also qualified for Nationals in the 5k.
“I like running both, but I prefer the 10k,” Tavé said. “I would say that this race is most about consistency and perseverance. Some people ask me how I can run 25 laps in a row, but each race is different. There’s different competition, the conditions are different and each lap presents a new situation, a new challenge.”
This year marks Tavé’s second year at Nationals. “I’m excited to go again and be in such a competitive atmosphere,” she said. “All the athletes there are really talented.”
On her prospects at winning the National Championships, Tavé is cautious. “I don’t think I’ll take Nationals this year,” she said. “I’d like to make all-American, though, which means that I’d be among the top seven runners. Next year would be the one to win a Championship, at Nationals on our own track.”
Tavé has balanced her academic workload at Scripps with being on the track team. “It provides a nice complement to my studies here,” she said. In doing both track and schoolwork, she has allowed herself an outlet for her physical well-being and gained important friendships.
Of her position as a Scripps student and as a member of CMS, she said, “I’m always really proud to represent Scripps and CMS. I have really good teammates, and it’s an honor to run with them and represent the team they make so special.”
In gearing up for the National Championship, Tavé hopes to improve her 5k best and national mark at a competitive meet at Occidental College on May 7. She will continue to train on campus, reducing mileage but increasing intensity to be sharp for the national races.
“At college, I’ve gotten to love track even more and really appreciate being part of a team,” Tavé said. “Everyone’s really supportive, which is one of my favorite aspects of running track.”
Tavé’s aspirations include a National Championship win before she graduates. After her time at Scripps, she says she will definitely continue running, either as part of a club or the national team in France where her parents live. “I’m hoping to represent France at the European Under-23 Championships in the Czech Republic this summer,” she said.
Whether she continues to run with a club, a nation or just for herself, running will undeniably be part of Tavé’s future.