Mazie Larsen | Senior Gretna High School
They say running is a way of life, and that has been the case for the Larsen family of Gretna. When high school senior Mazie was growing up, she watched her mom, Maureen, run local road races and cheer her on, and her dad, Tim, competed in several ultra marathons.
At eight years old, Mazie was invited to run with a local running club, and in middle school she started running track and cross country. Beginning with her sophomore year, Mazie won Class B three years in a row. And this fall she’ll run both track and cross country for Baylor University.
The community aspect of running is what Mazie says she loves most about the sport. “I’m really close with all the people I run with. I love the atmosphere, and there’s lots of sportsmanship.” Mazie runs six days a week, year round. “As long as I won’t get frost bite, I’ll run outside,” she said.
Every day after school her running group meets in the parking lots and picks a 6.5 to 8-mile route. A group runs every Saturday as well, and she likes the fact that running with others help push her to go farther and do better.
When Mazie isn’t running, she’s coaching younger kids how to run. “My coaches helped me fall in love with running, and I want to be able to do that for other kids.” She said the key to anyone being successful in long distance running is to keep them motivated. “The point of learning a sport when you’re young is to fall in love with it,” she added.
Staying motivated comes naturally for Mazie, even through her battle with chronic shin splints this past season. In fact, helping athletes through injury is another passion that’s leading her to study exercise physiology and pre-med at Baylor in hopes of becoming an orthopedic surgeon. “I want to help athletes get back to doing what they love,” she said. It’s that passion that will take her any distance she wants to go.