How women's cross country team captain Jen Kits seeks to be an inspiration for women
"Sports are not worth stressing over," Kits says. "It's about having fun and enjoying the experience and really embracing it. Don't wreck it by worrying about the little things, because it goes fast. And, most importantly, rely on God." — Jen Kits, TWU Spartans Women's Cross Country Team Captain
Words by Kate Roxburgh
The rain was relentless, the winds were howling, the temperature was bitterly cold and at times, that driving precipitation turned into hail.
Amidst it all, Trinity Western University's Jen Kits crossed the finish line at the 2018 U SPORTS Cross Country Championships in Kingston, Ont. with equal parts joy, exhaustion and core-shaking frigidity. Alongside her smiling teammates, moments like these have made being a Spartan so memorable.
Two years on and Kits (née Shannon) is now in her second year as a team captain Spartans, as she trains and competes in her fifth and potentially final year at TWU.
It is now, with this year's competitive season all but wiped out due to COVID-19 restrictions – Kits was the Spartans leading runner on the women's side in TWU's two cross country races in the fall, but the formal Canada West and U SPORTS competitions for both cross country and track and field were cancelled for 2020-21– Kits has started to flip back the pages and take a look at how far she has come from those first few days as a runner.
Kits grew up not far from the TWU campus in Burnaby, B.C., where she attended Burnaby South Secondary and it was here, in Grade 11, where she began running competitively. She had early success regionally, but having finished 56th overall at the B.C. provincial championships in her Grade 12 year, competing beyond high school seemed an unlikely option.
Then, one day, she achieved a personal goal. She had set out to run under 5:00 in the 1500m and that's exactly what she did.
In that moment, the trajectory of her running career changed.
Read the full article in TWU Spartans Spotlight:
TWU Spartans Spotlight
About Trinity Western University
Founded in 1962, Trinity Western University is Canada’s premier Christian liberal arts university dedicated to equipping students to establish meaningful connections between career, life, and the needs of the world. It is a fully accredited research institution offering liberal arts and sciences, as well as professional schools in business, nursing, education, human kinetics, graduate studies, and arts, media, and culture. It has five campuses and locations: Langley, Richmond-Lansdowne, Richmond-Minoru, Ottawa, and Bellingham, WA. TWU emphasizes academic excellence, research, and student engagement in a vital faith community committed to forming leaders to have a transformational impact on culture. Learn more at www.twu.ca or follow us on Twitter @TrinityWestern, on Facebook and LinkedIn.
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