Jennifer Lehr did something not many college students can say they accomplished this summer: run a whopping 500 miles. A freshman at Scripps College, she joined the CMS cross-country team because of her passion for running. When asked why she decided to run for CMS, Lehr said, “It was the whole package. I wanted to be a student and an athlete. It seemed doable. Plus, it was nice knowing I’d have 70 friends right off the bat when I started school.”
Like many runners, Lehr started out playing soccer when she was younger. In middle school, she was a midfielder, but she quickly realized that the sport was not for her.
“I’ve never been very coordinated,” Lehr admits, “but I realized I was good at running. For me, it was just pure fun.” She later went on to run in high school all four years, which ultimately led to her decision to run in college.
For Lehr, running in college is quite a bit different from running in high school, but she enjoys the change. She says running at CMS requires much more commitment, but she thinks it is much more fun.
That is not to say it is easy by any means. Most cross-country practices start at 6 a.m. sharp, so Lehr does not have the sleeping schedule of a typical college student.
“I went to bed at 8:30 last night. I’m pretty sure my roommates think I’m a sloth,” Lehr jokes.
While Lehr was somewhat anxious about joining the team, her fears were quickly swept away once she got to know her teammates during the cross-country team’s annual summer trip to Lake Tahoe. While Lehr and her teammates found time to bond and relax on some beaches, the trip was not a vacation. The team ran many miles over the course of a week.
Lehr has already competed in a meet at Santa Barbara, which involved not only running but also a game of dodgeball. Her next meet will be at UC Riverside, which she looks forward to because it will be her first time running 5,000 meters for CMS.
In terms of personal goals, Lehr does not want to be outrun by anyone at the end of her race. Her motto? “No one can outkick an Athena!”