Sept. 15, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - IUHoosiers.com will take a look at this year's newcomers on the Indiana women's cross country team. Next up is freshman Kelsey Duerksen.
Duerksen earned All-America honors in the 1,500-meters at the 2007 USA Track and Field Outdoor National Championships. She was an all-state honoree in track in 2006, 2007 and 2008 at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Mich. She owns personal-bests in the 5K (19:12), 800 (2:15) and in the 1,600-meters (5:04). She was an all-region selection in cross country in 2007.
Duerksen, a standout in the classroom, earned academic all-state honors in cross country and track four times. She was the co-captain for both cross country and track and field in 2007-08 and helped Pioneer to Division I conference, region and state titles in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Duerksen also ran a leg of the school-record holding distance medley relay team and was a four-time letterwinner in track, while also earning three letters in cross country and two in volleyball. She was a Select Choir member of Pioneer's music department that earned the National Grammy Signature Award, which is given to the top music department in the country.
Setting the Pace with Kelsey Duerksen
1. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I'd love to go anywhere overseas in Europe, but France would be my top choice. I've heard so many great things about France and I'd love to see it.
2. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself happily married with a family, a career that I love, and still running.
3. Who has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
Both my parents and my high school coach have been huge influences in my life. My parents have been there for me and have supported me my whole life, while my high school cross country and track coach has done the same and still continues to do the same for me. I attribute the success I have had to them.
4. What is your favorite childhood memory?
I am a volleyball fanatic. I have so many great memories of playing volleyball as a child in school, on teams, and at camps.
5. Something that many people don't know about you is?
I take the cheese off of pizza before I eat it.
6. The teammate I most admire is who, and why?
I admire my teammate, Rachel Ehret, very much. I spent time with her on my recruiting visit last year and we have kept in touch ever since. I come to her with questions about school, our team, and injuries that we have in common. She has been a great help and I'm very thankful that I have her to look up to.
7. Name one thing that you wish you were better at?
I wish I was better at biking! I'm a really slow biker and can never keep up with people when we go biking.
8. What makes Indiana special from any other program?
Indiana's program is definitely unique and special. I can already tell that our cohesive team is capable of taking us very far. We are getting better and better everyday.
9. What do you like best about Coach Helmer?
The thing that I like best about Coach Helmer is what he has done for the IU cross country and track and field programs. He has stepped in and really turned these programs around. It won't be long before it all pays off.
10. What are your goals for this year?
Initially, my goal for this year is to be 100 percent healthy and fully recovered from my injury. If I can do that this year, I'd be ecstatic and more than ready to get back to training.