Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Rundhaug excelling under Stintzi

It is not uncommon for high school graduates to want to get away a little when they head off to college. For many it is their first real taste of freedom. Junior runner Katrina Rundhaug was not an exception.

The Dodgeville native did not become a Badger right out of high school, but instead headed up Interstate 94 to the University of Minnesota.

Coming out of high school Rundhaug was looking at Wisconsin, but was not comfortable with the training style that former University of Wisconsin women's track and cross country coach Peter Tegen employed.


Her attitude quickly changed after her freshman campaign when the legendary Tegen retired from coaching. After an unfavorable first year at Minnesota, Rundhaug was ready to head home.

"My heart really wasn't there," Rundhaug explained. "I just really wasn't happy there. It just didn't feel right. I still wanted to be in Wisconsin. I didn't like being far away and I wanted to be close to my family."

With the hiring of head women's track and cross country coach Jim Stintzi, Rundhaug felt more comfortable calling the University of Wisconsin her home.

"Coach Stintzi's training definitely has been more beneficial to me," Rundhaug said. "He has had a lot of success with distance events."

Stintzi was equally elated with Rundhaug's decision to transfer. He believed Rundhaug possessed leadership qualities and had the potential to be one of the prime runners in the Big Ten.

"She has improved to the point where I not only think she is one of the better runners in the Big Ten, but a legitimate All-American candidate," Stintzi said.

Stintzi's faith in the Minnesota transfer has led Rundhaug to recognize her own improvements.

"Compared to where I was at the previous year, it was such a huge jump," Rundhaug said. "At the beginning of the season I didn't even expect to qualify for nationals, but qualifying, getting there and finishing 59th -I was happy."

Rundhaug's improvements over the last year have motivated her training and built her confidence.

"Our first meet when Coach Stintzi told me where he thought I would finish in the race, I was like no way I can finish in the top 20 or 30, there's no way, because the year before at Minnesota I finished like 170th," Rundhaug explained. "So last year it was just getting used to that and being more competitive, and now I have that year under my belt. I really feel like I can pick up where I left off."

Rundhaug is not only confident in her improvements, but she also hopes the team can improve and finish in the top half of the conference. Along with high hopes for her team, she would also like to beat the school for which she once competed.

"I want our team to beat [Minnesota] really bad this year," Rundhaug said. "Last year they beat us at Big [Ten Championships], but this year I definitely think we can beat them."

Rundhaug speaks and runs like a leader. All great athletes have confidence; it's a quality that makes them shine. However, there was a time when Rundhaug once doubted her running abilities.

"I never thought I would run," Rundhaug said. "My dad ran. … I would never ever do that, I don't want to run, I don't find it fun, I don't know how people do it. I was going to be a volleyball player."

After taking her father's advice to give track a test, Rundhaug immediately found success in the sport.

As a freshman in high school, she went to state. The more she ran, the more her love and confidence for the sport grew. Soon she switched to cross country, where her running abilities instantaneously began to improve.

Her first year as a cross country runner she finished 6th at state, and as a senior in 2002, she won the Division II state title.

After her collegiate career is over, Rundhaug hopes to become a nurse, but she does not plan on giving up on running anytime soon. Running is a part of her and she'll never let that pass. Eventually she would like to run marathons and participate in friendly competitions just to stay healthy.

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