Grad Student Determined to Compete

Jack Malone, Reporter

Lauren Fritzsch, graduate psychology pre-DPT major and member of the women’s track and field team, is determined to continue competing.

Fritzsch is a multi athlete on the team, which means competition in numerous events, including jumping, running, throwing and hurdling. She said her decision to become a college athlete was because she was not ready to finish competing at that stage.

“I guess I wanted to see myself get better and I felt I wasn’t ready to give it up yet when I graduated high school. I felt like I had more potential,” she said.

While her decision to come to Misericordia was based more on her academic pursuits, she said athletic opportunities were definitely an important factor. She said she was heavily recruited by Chris Wadas, coach for the women’s track and field team, and credits her athletic experience to him and the other coaches.

“I think I had more fun with it [track and field] in college because the coaches were more specific to my events, whereas I did not have that in high school,” she said.

She considers her greatest accomplishment is her improvement in several events.

“I have seen myself get a lot better in specific events that I never thought I would have, like the shotput for example,” Fritzsch said. “I never thought I would be decent at that and same with the high jump. So, I think that my greatest accomplishment would just be overall getting better at the multi.”

Fritzsch’s most enjoyable memory as a college athlete is building friendships with her teammates.

“Coming as a freshman is scary because you do not know anybody, but when you are coming on a team, you have those people that just take you under their wing and it is just like becoming automatic friends almost,” she said.

Fritzsch also enjoyed going to meets and cheering on her teammates.

“I like when we would go to MACs or big meets and the team is all cheering each other on and we all had team spirit and when we would stay over at meets. That was always fun.”

She said the biggest difficulty she experienced was coping with injuries.

“There has not been a year where I’ve been completely healthy. I have always had some injury that got in the way. So, I think that was the most frustrating because I was trying to compete while I was also healing at the same time,” Fritzsch said.

She was also frustrated last season when her indoor and outdoor seasons were cut short due to COVID-19.

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to compete again, so I feel like I had my last season without knowing it was my last season almost. So to me, that is frustrating because I want to compete again because I know I can still do better and I’m not ready to be done with it.”

Fritzsch said increased academic work as a graduate student will make practicing a little harder, but she is determined to make it.

“I think it has its pros and cons because I have more time to better myself as an athlete, but at the same time grad school has a lot more work involved in it, so I think it will be a tricky balance,” she said, adding that she still has goals to reach.

“I’m hoping that I’ll be able to hit the goals that I haven’t gotten to hit yet and be able to be satisfied at the end of it and be able to say ‘okay I hit my goals and now I’m ready to move on and say goodbye to it’,” Fritzsch said.

She said she will always cherish the friends, accomplishments and memories as well as one of the most valuable lessons she learned: don’t take anything for granted.

“I think definitely work hard during those four years and it will pay off. That’s what I took away from it, to not take it for granted and then also the friends that you make from it, they are friends that you will have after college, too,” Fritzsch said.