Cedarburg High School and Wisconsin native Aubrey Grimm had a stellar high school year, but once college running came, it was a wake up call.
Coming off a stellar high school career, two-time first team all-conference selection for cross country, Grimm feels the uptick in differences from practices, training meets and much more at the Division 1 college level.
“At the college level compared to high school, everyone is a lot faster than on my high school team,” Grimm said. “I was used to being the fastest person and so now that there are more people who are better than me, they definitely push me at practice.”
During the team’s first meet of the season at the Evansville Opener Sept. 3, Grimm posted a time of 19:48.5.
Cross country head coach Sean Birren reflected on her personal record in high school. She worked very hard in practice which led to a great performance.
“To be about maybe six seconds off her personal record on a hot, humid day versus what she ran in high school, I think she is in a good place,” Birren said.
Senior cross country runner Kendall Pfrimmer said she was very impressed by Grimm’s debut. “I was really proud of her for sure. Your first collegiate race is a lot of emotion, you’re probably stressed about school, being away from family, added on the pressure of running and running well. I think she took it in stride and did great,” Pfrimmer said.
Pfrimmer explained that initial meets can make an athlete engulfed into so much pressure. She mentioned that pressures can be due to school, being away from family, added on to the pressure of running and running well.
Not only is Grimm taking her meets in stride, she is taking her academics seriously as well.
At Marquette, Grimm is studying to become a nurse. She said Marquette’s nursing program played a key role in committing to Milwaukee’s Jesuit university.
“The nursing program was direct entry,” Grimm said. Being a nursing major herself, Pfrimmer said she tries to give Grimm guidance and direction both with cross country and classes, as she has been in her shoes before.
“I’ve been trying to show her the ropes,” Pfrimmer said. “Hopefully I can be that person she goes to with any questions: running related, nursing related, be that person she can look up to.”
Though Grimm is now in Milwaukee, the road getting to Marquette has been an uphill climb.
Birren mentioned Grimm needed to progress in her abilities to get signed by MU. Most notably, Birren said she needed to work down her times just to make the team.
Grimm said she is still adjusting to the pace of college, being an athlete and a student.
“When it comes to cross country in high school, we definitely did a lot of workouts and stuff to prepare me for college, but college is a lot different,” Grimm said. “We practice more than we ever did in high school.”
At the end of the day, Grimm is enjoying the start to her time at Marquette.
“I love it a lot,” she said. “At first I was really scared going into college, but now that I found my groove, I’m enjoying it a lot.”
Birren mentioned Grimm’s role as a first-year is to be consistent and on time in cross country.
“Be a good teammate and form a good base for what’s to come,” Birren said.
Meanwhile for Grimm, her goal for the remainder is simple.
“I always set high expectations for myself and sometimes when I don’t reach those goals, I get sad about it,” Grimm said. “I know its my first year, so whatever I do is good.”
This article was written by Johnnie Brooker. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @BrookerJr21.