by Alli Kieckbusch
SPOKANE, Wash.– Marissa Mount finds her athletic success in "loving the little things of every day." Whitworth's 2018 steeplechase All-American continues her passion for running this cross country season.
As a freshman, Marissa was itching to compete athletically. At the end of her high school career, she had a love for soccer that was cut short due to a herniated disk. Restricted from ever doing another contact sport, she decided to turn to running. For one year in high school she competed in the 400 meters, so she thought she'd give track and field another shot, only this time as a Pirate.
The 400m and the 400m hurdles left sophomore Marissa frustrated, and made her consider long distance running. Her junior year, she put in ample amounts of time and effort into training to become a distance runner. She had a drive that made early morning practices worth it, knowing it would pay off. She stated that "cross laid the foundation for my junior year" and helped her get into the shape she needed to exceed at distance events in track and field. Her work ethic from sports and academics shaped the way she was able to train for the steeplechase, a new event for Marissa. She caught on quickly and "did every possible thing to improve."
Mount gave her twin sister a call while she debated whether to compete in long distance. "You would hate cross country!" was Juliana's response, but Marissa's competitive drive made her want to run distance even more. Marissa's sister competes in the steeplechase at Oregon State University and has been running since the start of high school. After recovering from an injury, she and Marissa competed in the steeplechase for the first time at the Oregon Twilight. "She was leading the whole race and at the end, I came up on her and I finished 0.1 second before her. She held out her hand and we actually finished the race holding hands" said Marissa. "It's not a rivalry, we really want each other to do well."
Marissa competed in the NCAA DIII Outdoor Track and Field Championships last May with a fourth-place steeplechase finish, beating her own personal record with a time of 10:25.8. This cross country season, she has placed fourth at the PLU Invite and third at the Charles Bowles Invite among Division III athletes. On October 13th, she will race again at the Lewis & Clark Invite in Estacada, Oregon.