Maci Jokumsen, a junior at George Fox University (GFU), finished her first cross-country season by securing an all-region honor on Nov. 11 at the NCAA Division III West Region Cross Country Championship, held at Occidental College in California.
Jokumsen, who has played soccer for most of her life, decided that it was time for a change. She decided to leave soccer because, she says, “Last year, I kind of lost the passion for it. I found myself not enjoying the sport itself as much as I had in the past.”
She chose cross-country as her new sport because of her love for running. She found it to be a bigger change than she had been expecting, when she realized how much goes into cross-country other than just the running.
“The transition was different, but needed,” she says, expressing her gratitude toward the cross-country team, who supported her each step of the way and helped as much as they could.
Kayla Moore is a senior at GFU and the other recipient of the all-region honors. Moore says she and Jokumsen are fairly close friends and have been since the 2017 track season. They competed in the same events during track and supported each other over the summer when they
struggled to stay motivated to do early-morning workouts before work.
“She [Jokumsen] had a rough go at the start of the season honestly,” Moore said. “... I know she didn’t have the season she wanted.” It took a lot of adjustment and training for Jokumsen to really get into the groove of things, but her efforts clearly paid off at her last race of the season.
Reported by Megan Creighton
Photographed by Nathan Reichlin