Lauren Jansen loves to run, but it wasn't an easy decision to continue it in college.
Jansen, one of the top students in her Teutopolis senior class, committed to Kaskaskia College last week, where she will run cross country.
“It's a big deal,” Jansen said. “It was kind of a tough decision, on my part, because I had an offer from Lake Land (College) that was a full ride.”
Jansen's classroom smarts earned her one of the highest GPAs in her class and a full academic scholarship to Lake Land College, but cross country wasn't an option.
Kaskaskia offered Jansen a scholarship before Lake Land, which opened Jansen up to the possibility that she could continue the sport at the next level.
She joined the cross country team during her sophomore season at the request of a friend and was surprised at how much she liked it and how good she was.
“It was probably the best decision I've ever made,” Jansen said.
Her passion for the sport proved to be a major factor in her decision between the two schools, even though Kaskaskia's offer wasn't paid in full like Lake Land's.
“I was afraid I would regret it because I love to run and I didn't want to turn (the Kaskaskia scholarship) down,” Jansen said. “My parents wanted me to go to Lake Land because it was a free ride, but they also knew that I loved to run.”
Three of Jansen's former teammates run for Kaskaskia and she said she loved the campus when she toured, all giving her more confidence to make her final choice.
Jansen said she plans to continue running this summer, so she can be at her best when she joins the Kaskaskia running program.
“I'm just looking to have a good experience,” Jansen said.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or firstname.lastname@example.org.