Oldenburg sees success on cross country


NIU’s Courtney Oldenburg keeps her pace at the NCAA Midwest Regional last fall.

By Sean Anderson

The cross country roster features only one senior: Courtney Oldenburg.

Oldenburg has held numerous records and wins since competing in high school and is the leader for the Huskies.

Oldenburg is from West Salem, Wis., where she attended West Salem High School.

While in high school she finished fourth in state in 2006, first in state in 2007 and second in state in 2008. As a freshman and a sophomore she helped lead her high school cross country team to a first-place finish in conference.

Oldenburg was a four-time varsity letter winner in cross country and a three-time varsity letter winner in track. She also made the All-Conference first team four-times.

Oldenburg holds school records in the 4×400 m relay, 4×800 m relay, 800 m run, 1600 m run and 3200 m run.

In her four years at NIU, Oldenburg has finished first for the Huskies in every competition she has competed in. She earned a spot on the Academic All-Mid-American Conference Cross Country Team with a perfect 4.0 GPA in 2010.

In her senior season, Oldenburg won her first college competition at the UIC opener. She broke the 34-year-old NIU record on a 5K course Friday at the NIU Open; she placed third with a time of 18:07.81.

Her time eclipsed NIU’s previous record of 18:12, which was set in 1978 by Colleen Buck. Combined with her 6K record from 2010, Oldenburg now sits atop both lists in NIU history.

Oldenburg is also a leader of the track for the Huskies.

“Courtney is someone that everyone looks for when they need leadership,” said coach Greg Hipp. “It is a lot of pressure for her, and she handles it very well and really matured in that role. She does a great job at being our leader by how she does things and what she says to the younger people on the team. It even has made her more confident in herself.”

Oldenburg looks to set the best example for her teammates, hoping that after she is gone they will follow her lead.

“I want to be the best leader out there for our team that way they can be just as good of leader down the road,” Oldenburg said. “I do my best to keep a positive mind track with them on and off the track and try to have a lot of positive reinforcement. I like to have team dinners and hangout after practices that way we can have some fun and get to know everyone better.”