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Walther’s Race Just Beginning

Dave Kvidahl

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Aimee Walther is one of the best runners in Saint Louis University cross country history. But getting her to admit it is like asking Bobby Knight to relax.

Walther is the consummate team player in a very individual sport. When she broke the SLU record for the women’s 5,000-meter race at the Saluki Invitational, all she could reflect on was the team effort.

“I think we really stepped up this year,” Walther said. “Our captains have done a great job.”

“It was very exciting. We really stepped up and had an incredible time,” said Walther. “Everyone had a great day and came out strong. We put together a great team effort.”

Not only did Walther break the SLU record for time, but also became the first individual champion in SLU’s history with her victory.

“It was pretty exciting,” Walther said. “I like to talk to other runners while I’m running, so I’d use them to help me keep going.”

After winning the Saluki Invitational in a record SLU time of 18:08, the Conference USA Championship was up next, and the Billikens were the host team.

“We were kind of bummed since we didn’t get to travel, but it was nice to run on our home course,” Walther said. “Seeing our fans and hearing their cheers helps us. It’s always good to have family at the meets.”

Hosting the tournament allowed Walther to run with some of the best in the country.

“It was amazing to run with such talented runners,” Walther said. “We competed with ranked teams; it was a good experience.”

Walther was also pleased with the number of fans and fellow Billikens that came out to support the team. “We had a lot of SLU support.”

Walther finished ninth at the C-USA meet and received All-Conference USA honors. She is the first Billiken to be awarded.

Walther and the top six runners behind her will be competing in the upcoming NCAA District Five meet this Saturday. The host will be the University of Northern Iowa, in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Instead of running the usual five kilometers, the teams will be running a six-kilometer race.

Walther is still not convinced that her success will last. “In running, you have peaks and valleys. This year has been a high point,” Walther said.

With her senior year still ahead of her, Walther isn’t ready to have her shoes bronzed yet. “I don’t see it as my last year. I see running as a lifelong thing,” Walther said.

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Walther’s Race Just Beginning