Determination, persistence and dedication

Audrey Baetz pushes herself to the limit

BY NATALIE SHIRVANIAN 
SPORTS EDITOR

The life of a college student can be overwhelming with school and work schedules, and it can become frustrating and stressful, turning a person’s demeanor into a negative attitude, but in many situations and given circumstances, staying positive is important to gain the success.

Audrey Baetz prepares to race at The Spartan Invitational on Sept. 18.

Audrey Baetz prepares to race at The Spartan Invitational on Sept. 18.

“In general, I do consider myself to be a pretty positive person,” said Schoolcraft sophomore captain and runner Audrey Baetz.

Baetz is in the midst of her second year at Schoolcraft and looking to finish her running career the same way she finished her 2014 season with the Ocelots, earning Academic All-American recognition. The Academic All-American award is presented to collegiate student-athletes who are nominated by members of the College Sports Information of America (CoSIDA). CoSIDA members may nominate student-athletes only from their own institution. Only student-athletes who start or are important reserves with at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) at their current institution can be nominated.

Excelling in the classroom 

It all starts in the classroom for Baetz. She is currently enrolled in 15 credit hours when only 12 are needed to be eligible to play. This fall term, Baetz is studying Chemistry 111, Physics 181, Anthropology 112 and History 134, maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.579.

Audrey Baetz applies her determination and focus to her studies as well.

Audrey Baetz applies her determination and focus to her studies as well.

After Baetz completes her final year at Schoolcraft, she plans to move on to a four-year institution, preferably Michigan State University, where she plans to join the running club and major in biology.

“I’m not sure where I’m going with it [biology] yet,” Baetz said. “[But] I’ve been interested in marine biology for a while, but I’ve also been checking out genetics and other [biology] fields.”

As she studies, Baetz also works at Gaucho’s Brazilian Steakhouse in Northville as a server and has been there since September 2014. Baetz puts in 15 to 20 hours a week at work, along with her heavy class and training schedule. Her positive attitude, however, keeps her on task to earn the All-American award.

Study hard, run hard 

Baetz has been running for eight years. She began in middle school and continued through high school at Northville High School. She joined cross-country her sophomore year in high school when a neighbor convinced her to try it.

“Our warm-up was to run an eight minute mile,” Baetz said.“I was thinking ‘I’m never coming back,’ but I came back.”

Her determination and competitive mindset is what sets her apart from many.

“I just want it to pay off,” Baetz said. “Running means the world to me.”

Her running career has had ups and downs, forcing her to face adversity. While on spring break in Colorado last year, she fell at warm-up during her fifth run on the slopes, breaking her wrist.

“I went down [the slopes] two more times, but eventually I couldn’t move it,” Baetz said.

This did not stop her from running though.

“Her dedication to the sport shows. She ran through the whole winter in blizzards, so she’s definitely going for gold on this one [All-American],” sophomore teammate Grace Doolittle said.

Audrey Baetz poses with Schoolcraft head coach Ed Kozloff at The Crusader 5K on Sept. 26.

Audrey Baetz poses with Schoolcraft head coach Ed Kozloff at The Crusader 5K on Sept. 26.

Leader on the course, leader to the team 

Baetz has inspired and guided her teammates and close friends, pushing them to their limits, to bring out the best in them.

Doolittle said, “She [Baetz] brings a sense of determination and seriousness to the team.”

She also brings a sense of cheer.

“I always try to make them [my teammates] feel valued. If they have a bad day or relationship issues, I always try to push them to do their best,” Baetz said.

Her positive attitude and willingness to help others better themselves reflects on her success within herself and among her teammates.

“I told her how upset I was, and she told me even though it stinks that I had a bad race, there are plenty of other races left in the season to do well in,” said freshman teammate Caitlin Goyer.

“Audrey has inspired me because of her dedication to running.”

Potential All-American 

Baetz’s strategy has allowed her to remain focused and committed to each race she runs.

“Her [Baetz] goal is to become an All-American, and I think she has a good shot at it,” head coach Ed Kozloff said.

As Baetz continues to work hard this season, her love for cross-country runs deep. Her passion for the sport shines through her runs.

“I want to run, I just want to run,” she said.