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Olympian Lisa Uhl Motivates Cross Country Runners at Camp

VHS boys cross country coach Tom Trygstad introduces Kiel and Lisa Uhl to campers.

VHS boys cross country coach Tom Trygstad introduces Kiel and Lisa Uhl to campers.

2012 Olympian Lisa Uhl and her husband, All-American Kiel Uhl, provided insight and motivation to cross country runners at the VHS cross country camp Aug. 7.

Lisa, who runs professionally for Nike, got into running by doing road races with her dad before joining the cross country team in junior high at Fort Dodge. She improved through high school and contacted the Iowa State cross country coach about continuing her running career in college. There, she bloomed into a four-time NCAA Champion and 11-time NCAA All-American.

“I finished last in my first few races in eighth grade,” she said. “I began to finish up to fourth place by the end of that year. Running was something I liked doing and liked seeing myself get better at it.”

Kiel was a standout at Roosevelt before his career at Iowa State, where he was the only freshman to qualify for the 2005 nationals. He talked to students about his college career and what the transition from high school to college running was like.

“It’s important to keep that balance between school, family and friends,” Kiel advised.

After taking the campers through a morning workout, the couple stressed to students the need to have consistency in their training, to listen to their coach and to lean on family and friends during times of injury and stress. They encouraged students to be dedicated in their training – don’t stay up a late, eat well-balanced meals and train hard, but remember to recover.

Students were left with a question to think about as they start practice next week: Am I doing everything I can to get better?

Cross country camp team photo with Kiel and Lisa Uhl (middle).

Cross country camp team photo with Kiel and Lisa Uhl (middle).