Lierin Flanagan, sets the bar high

When the starting gun goes off, there is always one racer who sets the bar higher for all other runners at the starting line. Her name is Lierin Flanagan, and she is a middle-distance track runner from Kenai, Alaska competing for Bobcat Track and Field.

How did you get started with track and field, and find yourself in the events that you race now?
I chose to run track because I grew up with parents who were passionate about running. As soon as I ran in my first cross country meet in middle school, I loved it. As I got older I began to like the shorter distance races and eventually became a sprinter.

How have you transitioned from sprinting to becoming a middle distance runner?
I definitely was more of a short sprinter type in high school, running the 100m, 200m and 400m races mostly. As soon as I got to college, my coach Dale Kennedy saw that I had more of an endurance type running style rather than a short sprinter. It was a hard adjustment at first because I never imagined running the 800,m but as the training continued, the more I learned about that race, the more I loved it!

What sort of pre-race rituals or routines do you use?
Before a race I like to listen to music while visualizing myself running the race. I start by seeing myself getting into the blocks, the gun firing, how I will approach the corners and straight-aways and finally how I will finish strong, with everything I have.

What are your past accomplishments while running for MSU?
A few of my main accomplishments have been getting 3rd place in the 800m at the Conference Championships in 2012, being a part of the 4x400m team who broke the school record and received 2nd place at the Conference Championships in 2012, receiving the Most Outstanding Freshman of the Year Award Indoor and Outdoor, receiving the Most Improved Performance Award Outdoor, and most importantly, it’s been becoming the person I am today. Being a part of this family here has taught me lifelong lessons and I am forever grateful for that.

What do you look forward to accomplishing on the team in the future?
My future goals are to keep working hard to improve my times in every event I run and to eventually become a Conference Champion in the 800m.