Sophomore biomedical engineering major Kelsey Aamoth has provided a great follow-up to her great rookie performance last year. Earning honors as an University Athletics Association All-academic honoree as well as making the conference firm team and claiming a spot as an All-Region runner in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Great Lakes region last weekend, Aamoth is well on her way into Case Western athletics history. However, despite the stereotypical loneliness that comes along with long-distance running, Aamoth takes the greatest amount of pleasure in her teammates and friends on the cross country team.
Like all Spartan athletes, academics come first. The Solon Ohio native was drawn to the school based on the strong reputation of the biomedical engineering program, but running was a definite bonus “(Case) has a really good BME program. I knew I could run here, and, I don’t know, I just liked it here. But academics were the most important.”
Aamoth stays busy balancing both schedules. In addition to her regular course load, she works in a research lab that is attempting to better the lives of spinal injury patients, designing devices to assist in bladder processes. She is also a member of the Tau Beta Pi association and runs 45-50 miles per week while training for cross country and track, where she competes in the 5000-meter race event.
Running provides Aamoth with a sense of accomplishment as she led the women’s team in all seven races this year. She is especially proud of some of her race results. “Getting second at Oberlin was pretty exciting, just because I had never been, like, ‘Wow, I could win these races!’ and I was really close.” She is also proud to be performing well in her classes and to be chosen as a UAA all-academic honoree in her first year of eligibility.
Head coach Kathy Lanese also is excited about Aamoth’s potential as a runner. “She’s just an amazing athlete. The improvement she’s made in one year and the consistency she’s shown as a sophomore is incredible.”
The greatest takeaway from her Case Western experience so far, however, are the friendships she’s gained through the athletics program. Aamoth is one of 10 sophomores on the women’s team. This group of women are all fierce competitors as well as high-achieving students with seven ladies making the all-academic list. “We’re just like a big family, everyone’s friends with everyone…just a cool team. We’re all really close friends. ”
During the course of long practices and group training camps, the team has grown to be a family as well as teammates. Many of the ladies will be continuing their seasons in track and field this winter and train together almost year-round through the different sports seasons.
Aamoth won’t even be separated from the group through winter break as some members of the team will be going on a trip together to get away from the snowy Cleveland weather and enjoy a well-deserved break.
Although she isn’t sure what the future holds after college, she is happy with her decision to enroll at CWRU. “I like everything. I like the people, I’ve made a really good group of friends. It makes balancing the academics and sports and everything a lot better.”