MINNEAPOLIS - Chelsea Pettit is entering the final season of her run with the Gophers, but she is nowhere near resting on her laurels. Pettit improved her time in four consecutive meets to start off the cross country season last fall, ending with a season-best time of 22:27.5 at the Neubauer Invitational, where she was the first Gopher finisher.
Pettit also had a strong 2014 season on the track, running career-best times in the 800m, 1,000m and the mile indoors and clocking a career-best 800m time outdoors as well.
What is your favorite thing about Gopher track & field and cross country?
Honestly, I love the team. We support each other on and off the track. I know I've built lifelong friends here on the team.
What is your best memory with the team so far?
We always return from cross country camp in Ely with some fun memories. One that has stuck with me is probably going on canoe trips and cliff jumping with Cassy Opitz.
What's your proudest accomplishment in your running career so far?
As someone who never ran cross country in high school, I was really proud to be able to contribute to the team last year. I've never felt so confident or strong as in my race at UW-La Crosse in fall 2013.
What are your career goals?
I am a double major in chemistry and chemical engineering with a minor in business management. I hope to work in product development and eventually move into a technical management position.
How did you choose the University of Minnesota?
First and foremost, I wanted a good education. Minnesota is a top notch engineering school. Then I looked into how I fit on the team. I came for a recruiting trip my senior year of high school, and I was sold! I remember seeing how close all the girls were. When I stopped to think about what school I wanted to go to, I just couldn't imagine running for someone other than Wilson and Hopkins.
How did you first get into running?
I started track in seventh grade. My PE teacher encouraged me to try distance running, and I thought it would be a good way to stay in shape for soccer - go figure I ended up loving running even more!
Were you involved in any other sports growing up?
I played soccer up until I graduated from high school.
Do you have any pre-meet rituals or superstitions?
I always write a positive affirmation or power word on my arm.
What do you think makes being a Gopher so special?
I spent most of my life in Minnesota. I grew up watching Gopher sports. There is something special about being a part of the only Division I school in the state. We have an incredible support group in Minnesota and amazing school pride and spirit. Before every race, when I pull on my uniform, I take a second to look at the M and remind myself of how big of a deal it is to run for the Gophers.
What are you most looking forward to about the 2014-15 season?
This year is my fifth and final year, so I'm just looking forward to enjoying every minute of the journey and heading out on a strong note!
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