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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Low times, high grades

Photo by File

Karis Jochen defended her 6,000-meter title earlier this year at the Texas A&M Invitational.

Karis Jochen has a habit dominating both cross country and academics at Texas A&M.
Jochen’s resume at Texas A&M is what some runners dream of. Being a 4.0 business honors junior, first team all-SEC runner and the recent SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year are only a few achievements Karis Jochen has earned while at Texas A&M. This weekend Jochen has a chance to add to her list of achievements, as she attempts to become an All-American at the NCAA Championship Saturday.
She comes from a long line of Aggies who currently live in Bryan-College Station. Jochen grew up on the outskirts of Texas A&M and turned down other prestigious schools to stay where she felt at home.
“It was definitely a personal choice,” Jochen said. “My parents were the ones who convinced to me to take a look at A&M, because I initially didn’t want to because it was so close. Whenever it came down to what I wanted, they wanted it to be fully my decision. It was A&M that had everything I was looking for both in athletics and academics.”
Recruiting the two-time Gatorade Texas Player of the Year for cross country, Texas State 5A Cross Country Champion and AP Scholar was no easy task.
“Everybody basically told me, don’t bother recruiting her, she’s not going to Texas A&M, she’s going to Duke, Stanford or Georgetown,” said Assistant Coach McRaven. “During her junior year, we had our men finish 18th in the country and we had Natasha Rodgers win the NCAA championship in the 10,000 meters and then go on the olympic trials. I think that peaked her interest and got her foot in the door.”
Coach McRaven has coached Jochen for the past three years and said her toughness has been the backbone to her success as a runner.
“This maybe won’t sound like a compliment, but it is meant to be in the sense that she is a little stubborn,” McRaven said. “Some of the best athletes I have coached are stubborn in that you knock heads a little bit. She is an athlete that takes ownership in her running. So getting on the same page is a challenge, but I think that is a good thing if people are strong-willed and a little stubborn.”
She plans to graduate with a business honors major and a minor in mathematics to be on track to become an actuary. She has an older brother who is a commander helicopter pilot in the marine corps and when she is not running or studying,  she said she enjoys reading, playing the piano and watching Disney movies.
Jochen, who missed the national meet by one spot last year, clinched a berth at the NCAA Championship, taking fourth at the South Central Regional last week. She said may be running without her teammates but knows she is being supported back at home.
“I will definitely miss them before and after the race, but I know they’ll be cheering me on from College Station,” Jochen said.
Katherine Watson, a financial accountant senior and Jochen’s friend, said she considers herself part of Jochen’s family.
“I have only encountered three other runners like Karis: Marielle Hall, Sara Sutherland and Mia Behm,” Watson said. “These three runners finished first, third, and second, respectively, at three different NCAA championship meets. She, like them, is everything you want in a runner: positive, tough and relentless.”
Jochen, who will represent the Aggies at the NCAA Championship in Louisville, Kentucky, has high expectations for Saturday’s race. Her goal is to finish in the top 40, which would earn her All-American honors. The women’s 6,000-meter race will begin at 10 a.m. Central Time Saturday at the E.P. Tom Sawyer course.

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