Claudia Burgess: Boulder to Oregon

Claudia Burgess will head to Oregon next fall to compete for the Ducks


     Claudia Burgess's Best Marks

1600 Meters - 5:10.73

3,200 - 11:19.97

5K Cross Country - 18:12


Q) Talk about the recruitment process - what other schools were you looking at, and how did you come to choosing Oregon?

My search for schools started a little late. For a while, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to cross-country ski or run in college. Fortunately, during my senior year cross-country season, it all came to me and I decided I wanted to run. I love Boulder, but I knew that I wanted to explore somewhere else new and different. I began visiting schools as opportunities opened up and my top choices became Oregon, Oregon State, Cal Poly, and Colorado State. I had heard really great things about all of the programs and they all seemed like places where I could thrive. After a lot of thought and time spent visiting each of them, I chose Oregon. Oregon has been my dream school since freshman year. When the opportunity arose I was eager to explore it. It was scary thinking that my crazy dream could come to life but the more I looked into it, the more it seemed like a realistic match. The team is small and close. Coach Powell is a great coach who I know will help me explore my potential. The resources available are a once in a lifetime opportunity. On top of that, I love Eugene and the state of Oregon. I'm excited to expand my horizons there.

Q) What do you plan to study at Oregon?

I plan to study biology as I am looking into a profession in alternative medicine. Biology is a suitable major to start me on that path and the region has good connections with alternative medicine. Along with this, there's an art program that I'm interested to minor in.

Q) You've had success in everything from the mile up, particularly in cross country, what are you planning to focus on at Oregon?

I am planning on focusing primarily on cross country but naturally, I am open to running track and field there too!

Q) Oregon has such a rich tradition in cross country and track, talk about being a part of that tradition.

I definitely find it intimidating to be jumping into such a strong program with such rich running history. But at the same time I am beyond excited and so thankful to have the opportunity to immerse myself in the program. It is so cool to see all of the history that exists at Oregon and to have the chance to be apart of it. Two of my idols, Melody Fairchild and Alexi Pappas ran at Oregon and I find it so crazy to be following their footsteps. I can see myself thriving in Eugene. As a runner, there is a lot of support from the community and great trails and resources to use!

Q) You came on really strong at the tail-end of your cross country season, could you share any goals you have for the upcoming track season?

I have never really had a full season of track as I have always been competing in Cross-country skiing. Every year Junior Nationals for cross-country skiing takes place in March which cuts into the track season. I am left with little rest time in between skiing and track and little time to catch up in training for running. That being said, my racing in track has been minimal. This year I am excited to put more focus into track. My goals are to break my PRs from freshman and sophomore year.

I have been fortunate to have been able to compete at a high level in both Nordic skiing and running these past four years. There have been bumps in the road for both but my inner desire and passion for these sports has kept me going. Both sports have complimented each other and have kept me healthy and injury free. Now I am ready to solely focus on running these upcoming years and see where this next chapter of my life takes me!

Q) What would your favorite high school moment be?

Each year, the state cross country meet has been a really special experience. Our team stays at a hotel in Colorado Springs and the girls' team gets together and does a bonding activity. My relationship with the girls on my team grows stronger each year and at the state meet we are all able to reflect and bounce our joy off of each other. This year was especially a memorable trip. The evening with the team was so special and my race at state was empowering. Coming into the finish line battling for 2nd gave me deja vu from freshman year. Although I lost the battle for second, I was satisfied having given it my all. My high school running experience has by no means been easy and finishing third once again as a senior was still liberating. It was a great moment to cap off my high school cross country experience.