March 5, 2009
Sophomore Whitney Liehr scored a school record 4,012 points in the pentathlon this past weekend at the MPSF Championships to place second and help Stanford to the team title. The score was also a NCAA provisional standard. Liehr took a few minutes to answer some questions for gostanford.com.
Describe your outstanding performance this past weekend in Seattle and MPSF:
This past weekend I ran in a pentathlon, along with my teammates, Kara Bennett and Josefine Kvist. I finished in second place with a score of 4012 points, which was an NCAA provisional mark.
What are your thoughts on your performance?
It was really exciting to see all of the events come together, especially at a championship meet. It can be challenging when you have one event that doesn't go as well as you had hoped, and you have to forget about the performance and not let it effect the next event. So, to have all the events go well was especially pleasing and motivating. In particular, I was really excited about the results in long jump, because I got a PR by about 7 inches. In addition, the level of enthusiasm throughout the entire meet was really inspiring, and all of my teammates played a huge role in creating that atmosphere.
Explain how you became involved with the Heptathlon and Pentathlon.
Since I was primarily a hurdler and jumper in high school, my coaches recommended I try the heptathlon. Like most high schools, my high school did not have the event, so the summer after my junior year I entered my first heptathlon. It was more exhausting then I imagined, but way more rewarding.
Which is your favorite event?
I can't really say that I have a favorite event. If I had to choose, it would probably be the hurdles, but long jump, and high jump are also amongst my favorites. The jumping and running events are typically where I score most of my points, while I tend to struggle a bit more with the throws.
What is one of your favorite memories involving the track team?
One of my favorite memories has to be a camping trip that some of the team went on earlier this year. We had great time getting to know each other better, while hanging out under the stars. To add to the adventure, we decided to camp without tents, which was not the brightest idea, because it began to rain. We also had close encounters with raccoons and coyotes, who thought our bags belonged to them.
What is your year, major and what do you plan to do when you graduate?
I am a sophomore, and plan on majoring in biology. I hope to attend medical school after I graduate from Stanford.
What are your personal season goals? Team goals?
Showing consistency and improvement throughout the season are some of my main goals. In addition, I hope to qualify for nationals in the heptathlon and I would like to contribute to the team by scoring throughout the year. I also hope to be a positive influence for my teammates.