February 2013

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Schrulle Cherishes Iowa Experience By James Allan W hen Mareike Schrulle was contacted by the University of Iowa, she didn't know where the state of Iowa was located. Fast forward two years, and she doesn't want to think about leaving. "I came in the summer of 2011 and before that I didn't know anything about Iowa," said Schrulle, while addressing the January all-staff meeting in front of 300 UI athletics department employees. "I had to look on the map where Iowa was, and I apologize for that." Schrulle credits UI head cross country/track and field coach Layne Anderson as a key reason she decided to come to America from Arnsburg, Germany, to become a Hawkeye. "He did a good job of recruiting me," she said. "He didn't just care about the running part, but he also cared about my personal life. The stuff I do besides running." Schrulle calls Anderson the eternal optimist, and the belief he showed in her has been the difference in her Iowa experience. "He believed in my ability to run fast," she said. "When I came to Iowa, I was struggling with an ankle injury. He said, 'Mareike, we're going to fix it, we have trainers and the staff to work with you. As long as you do your best, you're going to be fine. "He's an optimist all the time. Everyone believed in me and that was one of the most important parts for me here. It makes it easy for me to appreciate the opportunity I get, to be a Hawkeye, and to give 100 percent in every race and every day in practice." The ankle injury forced Schrulle to deal with setbacks during her first season as a Hawkeye. She was able to compete, but not like she was accustomed. She had to 61 cross train, which made her learn the importance of the mental side of competing. "Being with the team was an important part, and I didn't really have that," said Schrulle. "At the end of the year, I was mentally burnt out." Schrulle knew change was needed. She had ankle surgery in the summer of 2012 and spent enough time in the training room that 'Terry Noonan (director of athletic training) wanted to charge me rent.' She also paid attention to little things. "I tried to be an athlete 24 hours a day," she said. "Sleep, nutrition, supplemental core — it showed me how important the little things are. It worked for me, and I had the best season of my life in cross country." Her best season included earning All-America honors following her seventh-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships. She finished with a personal-best time of 19:49 in the 6,000-meters, a time that ranks second all-time in school history. "Last year was a phenomenal season for me," said Schrulle. "I am looking forward to my last couple of months, and it is going to be really hard for me to leave Iowa. I have met a lot of good people and good friends. There are going to be a couple of tears when I leave." Schrulle doesn't know what the future holds, but she knows she'll always cherish her time at the University of Iowa. "I don't know where my journey is going to take me after Iowa, but I can say that Iowa is a really important part of my life, and it is going to be a really important part of my life. I would recommend to everyone to come here because I have had a great experience. I have enjoyed every minute."

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