As runner looks towards the future, her impact remains strong within program

Kendall+Pfrimmer+enters+his+fourth+season+in+the+Marquette+cross+country+program.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Marquette+Athletics.%29

Kendall Pfrimmer enters his fourth season in the Marquette cross country program. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Balancing Cross Country obligations alongside graduating on time to obtain her nursing degree, senior Kendall Pfrimmer is poised to finish her Marquette career on a high note.

A senior academically, but not athletically, is a peculiar spot that Kendall Pfrimmer and many other athletes are in.

Due to the COVID- 19 pandemic, the NCAA granted all athletes across every sport an extra year of eligibility. Some athletes pounced on this decree and are using their one more year to their advantage while others are ready to graduate and go into the workforce. This is where Pfrimmer comes into the picture.

“She’s on solid footing and she’s ready to be gone and move into the world,” Marquette cross country head coach Sean Birren said. 

Pfrimmer, who hails from Rochester, Minnesota, is on track to finish the nursing program at Marquette in the upcoming spring semester.

“A big reason why I came to Marquette was for their nursing program and the fact that my coach, Coach Sean, and the Track and Field Coach, Coach Bert were able to work around the nursing schedule as well as the Track and Field/Cross Country schedule,” Pfrimmer said. “Because the nursing schedule can be hard to work around and some schools aren’t willing to do that.”

Pfrimmer said that for clinical and simulations, her coaches had to pick her up when she completed them and said she is very thankful for her coaches for that as well as taking her to meets, doing whatever they can to help her.

Junior cross country runner Kate Jochims said that she knows about Pfrimmer’s eventual departure, however, she is optimistic about what would happen if she stayed.

“It’d be great if she stayed, especially just for numbers-wise, since we are such a small team. We would be keeping that intensity high,” Jochims said. “I don’t know what she’s going to do, but we would love to have her.”

Jochims and Pfrimmer share a special bond beyond the course. 

Jochims said that Pfrimmer and her have been able to build a close relationship with each other as they like to train with each other every day.

“She’s always there for me, whether it is about how I’m running or life in general. She’s great,” Jochims said. “She’s had a big impact on me. She’s always there for me when I’m feeling upset, and even more so in my relationships and stuff like that. She’s always letting me know that she’s there for me so it’s pretty special.”

Jochims explained some of the things she has noticed from Pfrimmer which gives her the drive to be better.

“She doesn’t get worked up or worried. When it comes to races, she knows to trust her training and to just go for it. She doesn’t hold back and leaves everything out there on the course. So it’s very motivating,” Jochims said.

Pfrimmer said her love for Marquette runs deep and that being a part of the program has meant a lot to her.

“Running at Marquette has been a huge part of my life for the past four years,” Pfrimmer said. “I tried to put into it as much time as I can just because that’s how I can get better and improve.”

Pfrimmer credits her growth to Mary Hanson, who served as one of her mentors during the early part of her Marquette career.

“As a freshman and sophomore, she was someone who I looked up to on and off the track. She was really open about what was going on in her life. I learned that everything is not perfect and not everything is going to go the way you want too and that is okay,” Pfrimmer said.

Hanson is still a part of the program as an assistant coach.

“Having her back as a coach is really exciting,” Pfrimmer said.

Birren referred to Pfrimmer as someone who can impact others both as a runner and as a person.

“She’s just an amazingly hard worker. She’s been a great example for her teammates,” Birren said. “In her role as an upperclassman, particularly this year, she’s been a straight shooter in conversation which is awesome. It gives you a good perspective on where she’s coming from and where her teammates are as far as just working with her as an upperclassmen mentor.”

Birren mentioned how Pfrimmer is able to hold herself as a mentor and leader for the younger members on the team, which has allowed him to not worry about her. 

“(It) makes like a lot easier as a coach,” Birren said. “It’s nice to have athletes like her that you can ask a question or you’re going to get the answer you’re looking for. It’s not going to be a doctored-up response. She does a great job of communicating in a way that gives you great feedback which is awesome.”

After graduation Pfrimmer hopes to find a job in Milwaukee in the field of Nursing and possibly be an assistant coach for the team alongside Birren.

Pfrimmer said only time will tell as the days continue to progress.

“Nursing is only four years so I don’t think I will be sticking around for a fifth year much as I would love to, but I hope to stay involve especially if I find a job here in Milwaukee,” Pfrimmer said.”Maybe I can, I kind of can do what Mary (Hanson) has done as an assistant coach but we will see.”

This article was written by Johnnie Brooker. He can be reached at johnnie.brooker@marquette.edu.