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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Lindseу Oremus faces challenges on and off the course

Senior Lindsey Oremus poses on the Kevin Quinn ’62 track. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

When senior cross country captain Lindsey Oremus walks up to the starting line, she’s locked in. She stares at the course in front of her and waits for the gun to go off.

These moments just before the race can be some of the most challenging for a runner, according to fellow senior track captain Lucy Harmon.

“There is a lot of anxiousness around,” Harmon said. “Especially if it is a championship meet. It is really important to try and just breathe.”

However, Oremus has an edge in these situations. She is used to being a part of stressful environments. She trained to be a volunteer firefighter but eventually chose to go down a different path.

“In the summer of my junior year of high school I took a big interest in becoming an emergency medical technician,” Oremus said. “I work on an ambulance pretty regularly for two companies. In my limited free time I can pick up a couple shifts and make a few dollars and enjoy what I am doing.”

As an EMT, Oremus drives an ambulance and responds to 911 calls. Though Oremus enjoys working on the ambulance crew, it can sometimes prove to be mentally draining.

“It depends on the day,” Oremus said. “I have had some really tough calls. We will get dispatched to a house that is notorious for drug overdoses or something like that. Those days are a drag. But then there are days where you make somebody’s worst day a little bit better. That is something I love to do.”

While Oremus was immediately drawn to being an EMT, the same can’t be said for cross country. In seventh grade she was mainly focused on soccer, using track just as a way to stay in shape for the upcoming season.

However, this changed when she reached high school.

“My high school track coach said to me, ‘Lindsey, I’m going to be honest with you I don’t think you are going play on the women’s soccer team,’” Oremus said. “I was ticked at the time. You don’t want to hear that.”

She ended up taking her coach’s advice and participated in the track team’s preseason training. Oremus began to warm up to becoming a runner, but joining the team came with a stipulation.

“I told my coach that I don’t want to run cross country,” Oremus said. “I don’t want to be running six, seven, eight miles a day. He told me not to worry, but literally two weeks into the season I was up to eight miles.”

However, at that point she said she had fallen in love with the sport. Though Oremus describes cross country as challenging, it is still something she enjoys, much like her job in the ambulance.

“It is something that isn’t only physically tough, it is really mentally tough too,” Oremus said. “There are a lot of days that are a grind. You don’t want to get up on a Sunday and go run 13 miles. It is an accumulation of physical toughness, mental toughness and the ability to succeed individually.”

As Oremus ran for her high school cross country team, she discovered that she had a natural talent.

“I am reading a book about how your body determines what you are going to be, and I think I was made to be a runner,” Oremus said.

Head Coach Melody O’Reilly outlined what makes somebody a great runner.

“Runners come in all shapes and sizes,” O’Reilly said. “I think what makes a good runner is someone who has a lot of heart. They have an inner drive to win and to push forward. They have to have confidence.“

That is what she sees in Oremus.

“She has a lot of those things,” O’Reilly said. “She has a very strong will to want to be good. To compete at this level you have to have that drive to want to win.”

This drive to win is what Oremus keeps in her mind during every race.

“When it gets down to it, it is a race and you want to win,” Oremus said. “I’m not dumb, there are races I am not going to win and I know that, but when I am running it is always in my head, ‘How high can I finish in this race?’”

This drive is something Harmon admires in her co-captain.

“She is definitely one of the most resilient runners I have ever met,” Harmon said. “She has had a lot of great successes. I know she has struggled sometimes but she always finds a way to make things positive. She has a lot of grit.”

After a race, Oremus said she can often be her toughest critic.

“If I run well, I am super happy and elated,” Oremus said. “When I run crappy, I shut down, and that is one of my biggest struggles. I beat myself up more than anyone else can. After a meet a few weeks ago, I just shut down for three days and didn’t want to talk to anybody.”

Luckily for her she doesn’t have to look far after a race for reassurance. Her boyfriend is junior John Walker, a member of the men’s track team. Oremus said he is always the first person she turns to once she crosses the finish line.

“He is my teammate,” Oremus said. “We are on the track together all of the time. We do all of our summer training together. He gets me through a lot of the obstacles I am facing mentally. He helps me get through the worst days and is right there with me for the best days.”

Even though Oremus is graduating, O’Reilly isn’t necessarily worried about the future of the team.

“Things will be a little bit different,” O’Reilly said. “We have some strong leaders who will be coming back next year. We have some captains coming up who have a similar temperament to Lindsey and who have looked to her to see what they should be like.”

Now that her four years are over, Oremus can look back on all those cold winter mornings spent running around campus and ask herself if she would do it all again.

“One hundred percent,” Oremus said. “I am not going to say I wouldn’t change a thing, but there are a lot of good memories I am going to take away, and a lot of friends who I am going to have for life.”

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