5 minutes with… Lorena Martin

By Rhema Rhea

Lorena Martin, freshman cross country runner, is picking up ground quickly in her first season with the Huskies after her club team, Atletismo Valladolid, won four-straight national championships in Spain.

Martin, of Salamanca, Spain, finished third (22:25.9) among the Huskies’ runners Oct. 17 in Peoria at the Bradley Classic. She ran a personal best 5K time in the 6K race.

Northern Star: You ran cross country and track in Spain. Do you prefer one over the other?

Lorena Martin: In Spain I did cross country, but I preferred … track. But, I knew that if I came here I’d have to do cross country. But, I don’t care; I’m having fun with cross country.

NS: What is the biggest difference between running in Spain and in the United States?

LM: In Spain normally when I run I finished in the top 10 in cross country, and here one competition I was 200th … so there are the same amount of people in races in Spain, but here they are better.

NS: Your club team won four-straight national championships in Spain. How did you finish individually during those title races?

LM: Freshman year I was 24th. Sophomore year I was 18th. Junior year I was 20th. And my last year I was eighth.

NS: You struggled to start off your NIU career in the first couple races, with the transitioning over being a big factor in that, I’m sure. Can you talk about how you felt your first couple races went?

LM: It was so hard. It was so bad the first race; I felt like so bad. But, in the third one — the last one — I felt so comfortable, and I think the next race I’m going to be even better than the other one, but I think I need more races here.

NS: How was your approach to the Bradley race different than some of the other courses this year?

LM: It’s because coach [Greg Hipp] told me to only focus on my race and not everyone else’s race.

NS: Hipp mentioned you currently do not have a phone. So, how do you communicate with your family back home? How often?

LM: I talk to my family every day because I have Skype, but I don’t need a phone here because I can talk to coach by Twitter … .