Freshman Lauren Norton has battled against both herself and her opponents this season, and the result has been a dual victory.

The chemical engineering major from Troy, Penn. placed seventh out of 76 runners at the University Athletic Association women’s cross country championships and fifth out of 97 runners at the New York State Collegiate Track Conference championships.

Not only did Norton lead UR to a fifth-place team finish at UAA championships and a fourth-place finish at NYSCTC championships, but she also earned First Team All-UAA honors and, this past week, was named NYSCTC Runner of the Week.

How is cross country both a competition against yourself and your opponents?
It’s a competition to see how far I can push myself, but [my opponents] are the ones who make me push myself. I don’t go into a run thinking I am going to PR, I just go with the race and try to place well.

Describe what is running through your mind during a typical race.
I’m thinking, ‘Am I gonna make it?” even though I know I am. I push myself to pain. It could be the 800, mile or 5K, but I tell myself that I have to get the next person, and I can’t let the person behind me get ahead. It’s a mental push.

What motivates you to continue running when you feel like you’ve already given all you’ve got?
Self-respect. Running is myself wanting to do well. If I drop out or let some girl pass me, I’m not doing well. What’s that saying? It’s like dishonoring myself.

What’s your favorite part about Rochester so far?
I really love the school [in general], and I’m so grateful that I decided to join the cross country team. I definitely enjoy it. I used to think that I was not cut out to be a college athlete, but I don’t anymore.

What do you miss the most from home?
My sister, my dog and my parents, I suppose.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Ice cream cookie dough is my weakness.

Kravitz is a member of the class of 2012.

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