Going the Distance

Jake Tapley

Dustin Emerick, senior distance runner at USI, has had his fair share of athletic achievements. This year marks his fourth-consecutive year of being named All-Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) for indoor track and field. It also marks the third year of him being named first team All-GLVC.

He said he is grateful for all of these awards, but they are not his focus. He places much more emphasis on the team than he does himself.

“It’s not so much the (individual) title that is important,” Emerick said. “It’s working together as a team to do our best.”

Junior long distance teammate Lauren Minor said teamwork is imperative. 

“Your work (as an individual) is going to help them in the long run,” Minor said. “Every day is helping to improve us.”

There is no major deviation in what he does to get ready for different events.

“Preparation for races is pretty standard,” Emerick said.

For the most part, his preparation consists of running, weight training and strength training. He runs almost every day and does the weight and strength training a few times a week. He said there was a little difference in training for short and long distance running, but with him being a long-distance runner, he tends to do the same weekly routine.

“I typically run upwards of 115 miles per week,” Emerick said. “I’ve only missed a total of three weeks this past year.”

“We’re always in season, except for during the summer,” said Erika Wilson, sophomore distance runner. “So we’re always training.”

Wilson, along with Emerick, was named second team All-GLVC and finished second in the 5K and 3K races.

Emerick described his most recent meet that facilitated the All-GLVC award as “just like any other race.”

He said the outdoor 10K course, the most difficult of the courses, was his favorite to run.

“Along with being my favorite course, it is also my best course,” Emerick said.

He set the school record on the 10K.

Emerick first got into running when he was in the fifth grade. He had heard something about cross-country and decided to join.

“I found out that it was running and was kind of mad at first,” Emerick said. “But I stuck with it.”

Throughout high school, he continued to do cross-country and track.

“My high school coach was my mentor for running,” Emerick said. “He really pushed me to the next level.”

Though he has been doing track and field for quite some time, he has not experienced everything that there is to offer for runners.

“I would like to try the Steeple Chase,” Emerick said. “But I don’t know if I would be coordinated enough.”

The Steeple Chase is a 3K race that, along with distance running, incorporates hurdles and obstacles throughout the course.

“The hardest part of the course is the water pit,” said Minor, who participates in the Steeple Chase. “It’s about 8-feet long, so it requires distance jumping.”

“I enjoy doing the course during practices,” Emerick said. “But I don’t think I would want to compete with others on the course just yet.”

Emerick said he would not necessarily rule it out for the future.