Athlete profile: Emily Leinweber

by Nicole Oh| Staff Writer

This fall, senior Emily Leinweber is completing her fourth and final year as a member of the women’s cross country team. Leinweber is one of two seniors this season who serves as a captain and role model, alongside Marissa Mount, to the young team this year, which includes nine freshman and five returners.

Originally from Walla Walla, this spring she will graduate with a major in history and secondary education, and will be teaching either social studies or history in a middle school or high school. In her free time she enjoys cooking, crafting, and spending time with her family and friends. She also competes on the track and field team in the spring primarily running the 5k and 10k.

Looking back, a huge athletic highlight and accomplishment includes winning the NWC championship race the past three years, in the 2017 season Leinweber finished the championship meet with a time of 25:42 for the 6k race.

Each year the team sets the goal of winning conference, commits and keeps each other accountable for this goal by constantly working hard not only at practice, but in the classroom, showing up, doing the little things, and continually supporting each other. “The process of reaching this goal is the epitome of pursuing perfection as a team and realizing that we can only be our best individually if we are first best together, as a team”, Leinweber said.

Throughout Leinweber’s four years some of the most memorable moments include a combination of supporting each other during tough workouts, competing in races together as a team, ice bathing after practice, van rides to meets, all the fun at training camp, and of course snack nights, however what made all those things so special was “in all those moments we get to the opportunity to get to know each other on a different level, find new ways to support and love each other better. The relationships that we are able to build in the little moments are what makes it possible to support each other in the big moments and truly work together.”

Leinweber would describe her overall experience on the Whitworth cross country team not only as a privilege but a huge blessing. It has been a place of working hard together, being there for one another, and becoming not only better athletes, but better people.“To be surrounded by coaches and teammates who encourage you to be the best you can be in athletics, academics, social, and spiritual life. I love this team and everything that it stands for”. It has also been a time for growth. “It has been hard at times, but ultimately so rewarding, fun, and absolutely worth the sacrifices and disappointments that come alone with athletics”.

Looking ahead both the men and women cross country teams will be traveling to compete at the 44th Annual Charles Bowles Invitational on Sept 29 in Salem, Oregon.