free, runner finally gets time to shine
By Annalise Venhuizen
Due to past injuries, junior Lindsay Kroonenberg wasn’t able to show her tremendous talent and competitive spirit as a member of the Calvin women’s cross country team—until recently.
A native of Denver, Colo., Kroonenberg was an outstanding cross country and track and field athlete at Denver Christian High School, where she suffered from a leg injury during her senior year. Although she didn’t run her freshman year at Calvin, she joined the cross country team her sophomore year.
But it still wasn’t Kroonenberg’s time to shine. She had to stop running halfway through the 2003 season due to a stress fracture.
“It took forever to heal. I got the injury in October, and it didn’t heal until May,” Kroonenberg said. The road to recovery was long and frustrating, preventing her from doing what she is most passionate about: running. “Running is really relaxing,” she said. “It is something I look forward to every day, seeing teammates and seeing how far I can push myself.”
Kroonenberg did eventually recover. She trained during the summer of 2004 but had to take in slowly, running only three consecutive days while always taking the fourth day off.
Her patience and dedication paid off. Kroonenberg had a great season. In her first collegiate conference race—the MIAA championship race held at Calvin’s new home course—the junior captured second place and a spot on the All-MIAA first team. “For me, it’s a huge accomplishment,” said Kroonenberg.
“What kept me going was the team; just being on a team is an awesome thing. At Calvin, it’s about being with the team,” she added.
Kroonenberg also gives credit to Calvin’s coaching staff: “Our coaching made a huge impact this season. They really supported us more than we ever could expect.”
Her promising finish has Kroonenberg already setting goals for next season.
“I am really looking forward to next year,” she said. “I want to see how far I can push myself in competition, to be as competitive as I can be. I also want to be a good teammate and leader next season and develop with the girls.”
A member of the MIAA’s academic Honor Roll, Kroonenberg plans to graduate in the spring of 2006 with a degree in special education.
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