Elizabeth Schweiker: Ralston Valley To Rice


Elizabeth Schweiker's Best Marks 

800 - 2:25.02

1,600 - 5:09.37

3,200 - 11:06.86

5k - 18:07


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

Through my school search, I focused on colleges that offered engineering and narrowed in on Rice, Purdue, Colorado School of Mines, and Santa Clara.  

After taking an official visit at Rice I felt most at home on their team because of the positive attitudes and their joy when it comes to running. Rice provides the best balance between competing in cross country and track at a high level and offering a fantastic education.

Another large part of my decision was how Rice is ranked one of the happiest schools which I definitely felt when I was on campus. Coach Bevan's attitude towards training lined up with my own and just thinking about the team I met makes me super excited! 

Q) What do you plan to study at Rice?

I am excited to study engineering, probably electrical engineering so that I can work in the field of optics or renewable energy.    

Q) What event do you see yourself focusing on at Rice?

We'll see how I can best contribute to the team, but I do hope to try steeplechase along with the 1600, 5k, and 6k. 

Q) You've had success in the 1,600 and on over to the 5k, which event would you say is your favorite, and why? 

The 3200 takes the cake. I know everyone else thinks 8 laps sounds like a terrible idea but I love how the first few laps are comfortable and then you start ramping up for a big finish. The last three laps are my favorite because they combine the grit and speed that makes track so fun. 

Q) You've consistently made massive leaps of improvement each year - what would you say attributed to such consistent gains?

I've had a multitude of coaches that have all taught me something different about training, racing mentality, strategy, and injury prevention. 

The Rojas's in Boulder not only helped me find what works best in regards to mileage, workouts, and strength, but they also have taught me how to be responsible for my own training so I can make the best and most educated decisions on the daily.

To be responsible for my own training makes me much more motivated and allows me to make good decisions that can ultimately prevent over-training and keep me injury free. 

Q) The first result we have on you on MileSplit is a 20:29 5k, 20th place finish at the Centaurus Cross Country Invite in September of 2016  - what do you remember from this competition?

Lots! It was at Waneka Lake Park and only three girls from my team ran the race. Our amazing team captain really helped me embrace cross country and that race was the time I realized that I loved it! I finished the race, happy with my time and jazzed to be around my teammates. Also definitely realized racing in flats is a must and that my Asics trainers weren't gonna cut it. 

 Q) What got you interested in competing in XC/Track in the first place? 

Our elementary school PE teacher ran a running club after school to prepare for the school 5k so I enjoyed doing that. I also trained with the teacher in the spring for a mile race, which I still have the school record!

My parents were always very cautious about me running too many miles when I was younger and growing so instead I focused my time on basketball, soccer, and tennis. When I hit high school I had some friends that did cross country and my basketball coach suggested that I would be good at it. Soon enough I was hooked!

Q) Could you share any goals you have for your final track and field season?

I would love to qualify again in the 1600 and 3200 and hopefully snag a first team all state finish. On top of that, our 4x800 team really wants to qualify for the state meet. 

Q) What would your favorite high school moment be?

Tough question... But I have to go with the state cross country meet my sophomore year. The whole season I kept improving and capped off my season with a PR and a 14th place finish at State.That race it became apparent to me that I could be a competitor in any race if I just believed in myself!

That year the boys team also qualified for the first time in over 10 years, so it was exciting to have so many people at the state meet racing with me!