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Brenley Goertzen of women’s cross country receives National Academic Award

Courtesy of TCU Athletics

Sophomore cross country and track and field standout Brenley Goertzen received an individual academic award recently announced by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

The individual award recognizes student-athletes who have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 and finish in the top-25 in the regional meet or finish as an All-American. Along with Goertzen’s individual success, the cross country team earned all- academic honors.

Goertzen, originally from Woodbury, Minnesota, began running after her parents realized she was originally in the wrong sport.

“I struck out playing tee-ball in the fifth grade and started crying, my mom asked me why I was crying and I told her I wanted to run the bases,” Goertzen said. “My mom realized I was in the wrong sport.” Goertzen’s parents then put her in track and field where she excelled at a very young age.

Texas weather and Fort Worth’s beautiful city felt like home, which ultimately led Goertzen to commit to TCU.

Goertzen’s parents instilled the importance of academics in her at a young age. She was taught that school should always be a priority.

“I have grown up learning how to balance the two,” Goertzen said. “Also everyone on the women’s team is very focused and wants to do well in both school running. When we travel we do homework together and tutor each other.”

Goertzen has had an amazing end to her sophomore cross country season. At the Big 12 Cross Country Championship, she clocked her career best time of 20:35.1 for the 5-kilometer run.

“My mindset was that I needed to leave it all on the course and my self-confidence had gone up since the beginning of the season,” Goertzen said. “I realized I belong here and belonged at the top of the pack.”

The following week Goertzen qualified for the NCAA Cross Country Championship at the NCAA Regional meet where she finished with a program-best in 6th place. Goertzen is the first person to make it to nationals since Agnes Kemboi, who qualified in 2012.

After an amazing conclusion to the Cross Country season, Goertzen broke the school record in her first 3,000-meter race of the season.

“I like indoor season because you don’t have to face the elements really, there’s no wind or hills and I’m a rhythm runner,” Goertzen said. “I was really happy.”

When asked about the future, Goertzen said she is hopeful to bring home a conference title in the Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championship, which will take place February 24-25. Goertzen will be competing in the 3,000 and 5,000-meter races.

“A conference championship will put the icing on the cake right now,”  Goertzen said, “But regardless, I will be happy with scoring and getting some big points for the women’s team.”

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