Written and Media by Andrew Sharp.
Lia Kruse is a Greenville University distance runner who specializes in the 5000 and 6000 meter races. She became the team’s most valuable runner last cross country season for the Panthers. Kruse leads the Panthers as a top runner for the team this season of cross country. Kruse is entering her final season of cross country and looking to go out with a bang. She has already nearly capped her best performance from any cross country season yet.
The Panthers are looking ahead to the Bradley Invitational on Friday, October 13. “I am hoping to race my best time at the Bradley meet in order to be on course to reach my season goal of running under 23:00.” In order to be on the top ten performance list, Kruse will have to run a 22:50 or faster; a goal that she has set for herself early this season.
Off the course, Kruse is no stranger to the hard work and dedication that it takes to be a successful cross country runner. This summer Kruse averaged 50 miles of ground-pounding running per week, at one point reaching a mind-boggling 60 miles in one week in the offseason. In addition to being a very dedicated runner, she also does cross training, which includes swimming two or three times a week to increase her performance.
As Kruse has shown over the past three years, she is a team player. At the S.L.I.A.C. Track and Field Championship, she pulled out of her favored race to run in a different one that would score her better point totals for the team. Sacrifice is nothing new to her as she battles having stitches in her left leg. Once again Kruse proves her determination and dedication to
Sacrifice is nothing new to her as she battles having stitches in her left leg. Once again, Kruse proves her determination and dedication to the sport and team.
High School Career
Kruse attended Batavia High School and competed in cross country and track all four years. Having attended a class 3A school, she had her work cut out for her while running with some of the best runners in Illinois. This played a role in her development of hard work and her drive to succeed. Her personal bests included a three-mile time of 19:18, two-mile time of 12:16, and mile time of 5:37 in high school.
Kruse joined the Greenville Cross Country team with a big recruiting class in 2014, in addition to eight other female recruits. Thrown into a competitive mix, Kruse was accustomed to the competition and pressure that came with a talented class. She was not able to touch her high school personal bests until her sophomore year of track and junior year of cross country, when she started to surpass those times.
When it comes to competitive athletes here at Greenville, the last name Kruse comes to mind. As she reaches the middle of her senior season of cross country, she is just as ready to take the line as she was when she first started her running career in grade school. Kruse has the dedication and passion that every coach looks for and wants every runner to have. “Running is more than a sport to me, it’s a lifestyle. I love it because it is the one thing that I can control (to an extent) the outcome of through preparation, mentality, and physical work. I look forward to every race because I am given the opportunity to test my strengths, abilities, and weaknesses.”
Kruse finished 27th out of the 103-runner field on Friday night at Millikin!
She sat down with The Papyrus and talked about being an athlete here at Greenville.