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The Carletonian

Senior Spotlight: Emily Kaegi

<egi, a senior from Williamstown, MA is a Math/Stats major and the captain for both the Carleton Women’s Cross Country Team and the Carleton Women’s Track and Field team. Kaegi has excelled in both cross country and track, picking up numerous MIAC Athlete of the Week awards. She is a three-time MIAC All-Conference runner, a Central All-Region runner, and a three-time national qualifier with her team in cross country, as well as a two-time All MIAC Honorable Mention in track and field.

This season, Kaegi has accomplished her first two goals: win conference as a team and place top three individually. “For the rest of the cross country season, I hope our team wins a spot to nationals by placing top two at regionals. For track, I want to stay healthy and to go under 18 minutes in the 5k,” said Kaegi. “As for non-performance goals, one big goal I had for the team was to acclimate in a large group of freshmen to our team culture. I want to leave the team a better place than I found it and help build team leaders for the coming years, which is hard when it was already great coming in.”

“There are so many moments that stand out to me throughout these years, and most of them are small, unplanned great moments you have with teammates,” Kaegi recounted. “The most vivid one right now is obviously winning the MIAC this past weekend. I had no clue how the team was doing during the race, so as soon as I cross the finish line, I turned around to cheer for everyone else coming in. I just started screaming, ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’ as they came across the line,” said Kaegi. “A couple of minutes later, [our coach] Donna finally found us. I was waiting to see what she’d say and she just opened her mouth and screamed for joy. That was an amazing moment. Not only to win conference again, but to have the lowest score in history and sweep both the men’s and women’s teams is something I’ll remember forever.”

Running has been a large part of Kaegi’s life for the past nine years. “It’s given me a family of teammates that spans so many years. It’s given me mentors and coaches that I still keep in touch with and am thankful for every day for helping me to be a better person,” Kaegi reflected. “Running isn’t just about how well you perform during your two hour practice or your race. It’s about how you hold yourself all day and how you can keep your mind strong, so the people that have helped me be a better runner are the people that have helped me be a better person.”

Kaegi also said she enjoys testing her limits with running. “It’s taught me how to be more in touch with my body and take care of it,” said Kaegi. “It’s allowed me to really get to know myself when I’m out in the middle of a ten-mile run alone with nobody to talk to or convince myself to do that last hill repeat even though my legs are burning. It’s allowed me to see how far I can push myself. It’s taught me to set goals and work to achieve them. It’s taught me about the strength in friendships. It’s taught me how important a team is. The women I’ve run with over the last nine years have been my closest friends and they mean so much to me that I can’t begin to describe it. The teams really have been families to me.”

This year, the Carleton Women’s Cross Country team has consistently been ranked among the top ten in the nation. When asked about how this feels, and if this puts more pressure on the team to perform, Kaegi replied, “I am amazed but not surprised every day that we are ranked top ten in the nation. The amount of talent but mostly the amount of hard work that the women put in every day is why I’m not surprised. The team is extremely dedicated this year, and I’m glad that coaches around the country can see that. I haven’t really felt that added pressure. Every race we go out there and do our thing and as long as we are putting out our best effort, than that’s all we can ask for. With that mindset, we’ve been able to accomplish incredible feats this season. That’s how I want it to continue to be. We are prepared, we know how to race, and all we have to do is let our training take hold and engage in the races.” Kaegi and her teammates will be racing at Regionals on Saturday, November 11 on their home course at Carleton, where the team hopes to claim an automatic bid for nationals.

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