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Utes runner scorches track in event she wasn't expecting to run

Posted at 4:50 PM, Apr 07, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — Only eight women in NCAA history have run under 32 minutes in the 10-thousand meters event; Emily Venters is now one of them after posting a mark of 31:48, the sixth-fastest time ever, at the Stanford Invitational in a race she wasn't expecting to run.

“I decided the night before that I was going to do the 10K instead of the 5K,” said Venters. "I felt in my gut I should do the 10, and then I could have a better way of getting a [personal record in it.”

With the race, she broke the Utah and Pac-12 record, and even called her shot on a phone call.

“I called my dad three hours before the race, and I just semi-joking said 'wouldn’t it be crazy if I ran sub-32?',” said Venters. “He was like, you can do it, why not, and yeah, I did it.”

Emily ran with the lead pack for the first 3,000 meters, but then pulled away, and with eight laps to go she decided to take off the gloves and go for it.

“I was just in a lot of shock and I had a lot of emotions,” said Venters. “I also had really rough journey to get back to this place. Two years ago I thought I was going to quit running all together after having quite a few injuries.

"The comeback journey was definitely difficult a lot of the times, but whenever you get to have a high after having so many lows, it just makes it all so worth it.”

Emily's had her share of struggles. She transferred twice to get to Utah, but she now feels at home, and in that that race she ran free.

“I ran without fear when I was so young,” she said. “That’s kind of how I ran on Friday. I haven’t felt quite like that since then, and I think that’s just an amazing feeling, and one that I hope I never let go of again.”