Player Profile: Three-season runner Venti vies for Nationals spot
As a three-season runner who has been a member of the Jeffs’ cross-country, indoor and outdoor track teams since her freshman year, not a single day has passed without Venti devoting time to her sport.
Besides running seven days a week, be it in the rain, snow or blistering heat of the Australian outback while studying abroad, Venti is also a known regular in the weight room and the pool. And somehow, at the end of the day, she still has time to be one of Amherst’s top students.
Running has always been a sport that’s difficult for the mainstream population to comprehend. “Most people run as a form of self-inflicted punishment,” Venti commented. “I find running to be a great way to relax and get away from everything for a little while,” she said. “It can be time to yourself, or time to talk with teammates about your day. Running is my way of relieving stress.”
While she’s relieving stress, Venti also racks up the gold medals. A top performer on the nationally-ranked women’s cross country team, it is on the track where she truly excels.
Running the 800- and 1500-meter individual events this indoor season, Venti’s time of 4:48 in the 1500-meter has already qualified her for the Div. III New Englands, Open New Englands and ECACs. Her goal of making it to Nationals this year is one that truly seems to be attainable.
When she’s not running her own race, Venti is busy as part of the 4 x 800-meter relay or the 800- or 1500-meter leg in the distance medley relay. Both of these teams have proved to be some of the strongest in the New England region.
Head Coach Erik Nedeau waxes philosophical when it comes to talking about Venti. He said, “There are some who will take a break as often as necessary, and sometimes even more then necessary, but [Venti] just never wants to halt progress by giving herself a break-the more that she runs and does, the better she feels.”
Nedeau is full of excitement about the future of his top recruit, explaining that, “While [Venti] has done extremely well to this point, I think that she is also on this fine line of really good marks and breaking through to outstanding ones, and it is this crucial time where she is going to have to be relaxed and let it happen.”
Venti is the epitome of someone who doesn’t just play her sport, but also thinks about it and reflects on it. When asked about her “best” race, Venti explained, “Every race-no matter how good or bad-has positive aspects you can build confidence on and things you can learn from. Sometimes the fastest time isn’t necessarily the best race. That’s part of what makes track so hard to understand.”
There are a lot of things that make track, and Venti, hard to understand. However, it’s obvious to everyone that Venti is in the running for the most athletic female, if not person, on campus.