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Jackie Kamphaus

Hometown: Clay Center, Kansas
Major: English
Class: 2012

Cross country runner, Jackie Kamphaus, an English major from Clay Center, Kan., qualifed for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics championship meet when she finished the 5k course in 20:11, finishing eight place overall. Kamphaus received a Champions of Character Award winner for 2010–11, which is given for leadership and service to others. She is a four-year letter winner for Bethel cross-country. This was her first national qualification.

How long have you been running cross country?
I have been doing cross country since my junior year of high school.
Why did you decide to join Bethel’s cross country team?
I loved being a part of a team throughout high school, and I wanted to continue that through college. Bethel gave me a great place to be a part of a team, make great friends, and continue to work hard at getting better at the sport I love.
Looking back at your years running for Bethel, what were some of the most memorable moments for you?
Some of my best memories come from our team fall break trips to Colorado and Missouri, and our team meal before meets. We also grew a lot as a team through the hard workouts this season. Everyone was very uplifting and supportive of each other.
What does it take to qualify for nationals?
You can either qualify as a team, by placing first as a team at conference, or place individually by placing within the top five individuals after the qualifying team’s individuals.
How did you respond when you realized you qualified for nationals?
It was exciting! It was something that I had always hoped I would get to experience by the end of my four years at Bethel.
What were some of the highlights from the nationals meet?
The support I got from everyone was such a highlight and blessing. I had an amazing coach, team, friends, family, and students encouraging me along the way. The location for nationals was a highlight in itself; Washington and Oregon are beautiful states. Also, just being able to run in that large of a race with such great runners was such a great experience. Another highlight of nationals was being able to run with an old high school teammate who now runs at Tabor. It was our first time to nationals for both of us, so it was great to get to experience it together.
How do you feel about your overall performance at nationals?
I feel good about my performance at nationals, I went out and gave it my best, it was a great way to end my last cross country season.
What does it mean to be a Thresher?
As a Thresher you are not only an athlete, you are a student, and you represent your school and its beliefs. That’s what I love about being at Bethel. I feel that you become very well rounded.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.