Venters Recaps Team USA Experience
Jan. 25, 2018

BOISE, Idaho - After a fall semester that saw her claim All-Mountain West and All-West Region honors, capped by a 53rd-place effort at the 2017 NCAA Cross Country Championships - good for the No. 3 freshman in the field - Boise State freshman Emily Venters has made the quick transition into collegiate running.

She added to her already impressive, albeit brief, resume with a 10th-place finish in the junior women's race at the Great Edinburgh XCountry International Challenge - her first international experience with Team USA.

"The transition (to collegiate running) hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be," Venters said. "I think having a great group of girls to train with and awesome coaches has made it really easy. I seemed to transition pretty smoothly, and I've been really happy with it."

Venters was the fourth American across the line in 14:34 at the Jan. 13 race in Holyrood Park in Edinburgh, Scotland. Team USA would finish second to Great Britain by one point.

"I didn't go into the race having big expectations seeing how I wasn't specifically training for it," Venters said. "Coach Ihmels told me to just go and have fun, and enjoy the mud."

Venters first learned of the possibility she would be named to the U.S. team when head coach Corey Ihmels and volunteer assistant Dave Mills told her they thought she had a good shot of making the team. After not hearing anything for months, she assumed she had not made the team after all.

Finally, on Dec. 21, 2017, just after leaving Boise for winter break, Venters received the announcement from USA Track and Field letting her know she was going to Scotland. She became the fifth Bronco to compete in the international event, following in the footsteps of Emma Bates, Andrew Rafla, Michael Vennard and Elijah Armstrong.

"We hadn't heard anything for a while, and I was just sitting there thinking `why didn't I get it?'" Venters said. "Finally we heard something, and it was a really cool moment."

 The Lawrence, Kansas-native enjoyed her first visit to Europe, and her first experience outside of the United States other than several cruises she took. Team USA stayed on the Royal Mile - a stretch of streets in Old Town Edinburgh, offering her and her teammates the chance to experience the culture with athletes from across Europe. The team took trips to local castles as well as nearby Portobello Beach.

Her favorite moment however, was the night after the race. With an early flight the next morning, Venters and members of the U.S. juniors team decided to walk the half-mile back to Holyrood Park and hike Arthur's Seat - an 823-foot hilltop.

"It was really cool because we got to see all over Edinburgh from the top," Venters said.

The freshman wasn't able to enjoy her trip overseas for long. She returned to Boise of Jan. 14th, and immediately returned to classes after missing the first week of the semester. She returns to the track this weekend, racing the 3,000m at the UW Invitational, this Saturday in Seattle, Wash.

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