Hitting her stride

Coming off her final — and best — season on the SVSU women’s cross-country team, Allison Dorr is eyeing the university’s record books for her last go-’round with the track and field team this year.

“I have a few lofty goals, but I’m in great shape right now,” she said.

In a way, the Birch Run native has been preparing for this season since the seventh grade, when she joined her middle school track team along with her sister as a way to stay close as siblings. Dorr, though, quickly became fond of the self-discipline involved in competitive running.

“I like the fact that you get out of running what you put into it,” she said. “The whole goal is to push yourself as hard as you can to see what you can do.”

Dorr pushed herself harder each season leading up to her senior campaign at SVSU. Her approach to the 2018-19 season for both cross-country as well as track and field involved the most strenuous off-season workout regimen of her life. She ran a whopping 90 miles per week last summer. That’s roughly the distance between SVSU’s campus and Ann Arbor.

Dorr ran most of those miles in Washington while staying with her boyfriend, who was living out of state for an internship from May to August 2018.

“There is a lot of terrain with hills there,” Dorr said. “That probably played a role in the shape I’m in.”

Dorr’s senior cross-country season was her finest, resulting in her first NCAA Division II All-American accolade and her second trip in three years to the Division II national championship competition. She placed 28th in the nation during the November 2018 contest’s 6K in Pittsburgh, topping her 60th-place finish in 2016.

“I’ve accomplished more than I thought I would when I came to SVSU,” the exercise science major said.

And she’s not finished yet. Dorr has two goals in mind for her final track and field season: qualifying for the NCAA Division II Championships in May 2019 — which would mark her first visit with the track and field team — and owning SVSU’s indoor 5K record.

The latter goal would mean besting the record set in 2012 by Lauren Hill, who finished the 5K in 17 minutes and 1 second. Prior to this season, Dorr’s top time in the same competition was within 21 seconds of that mark.

She said it won’t be an easy feat, but her recent performances give her confidence in the pursuit.

“I’m feeling good about it,” Dorr said.

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