Valerie ConstienMy name is Val Constien and I am a freshman in the EVEN program with an Energy option focus.  I am from Vail Colorado and I knew in high school that I wanted to be an environmental engineer.

Boulder seems to be the perfect place to study environmental engineering because the entire city seems to be open to environmental practices.  That is one of the reasons why I like the EVEN program at CU so much. I am excited to get involved with the small businesses here in Boulder and hopefully help people make environmentally sustainable choices.

A little fun fact about me is that I love to ski and do other outdoorsy things. I am excited to go exploring around the flatirons and the White River National Forest area.   

What got you into cross country? What’s your favorite part? What’s the hardest part?
I started running Cross Country when I was 15 for my high school team. I originally joined the team because I wanted to get in shape for track. I thought I was going to hate distance running but it turned out to be pretty fun because there was a lot of traveling and I got to spend more time with my friends.The hardest part of cross country is not giving up mentally when a workout is hard or when you still have 10 miles left in your long run.

Do you see any crossover between the lessons you learn/skills you gain as an engineering student and the lessons/skills you gain as a competitive runner?
Being a distance runner is a lot like being an engineer in a sense that you have to practice for a long time every day. The practice is very challenging but it makes you a better person and you develop close relationships with an amazing group.

Tell us about the USA Cross Country Championships that you raced in on Saturday February 7th 2015.
Saturday February 7, I raced in the Junior World qualifying cross-country race here in Boulder. The race was a 6-kilometer course. I finished second overall behind my teammate and fellow engineer Kaitlyn Benner. The top 6 finishers get to run for team USA at the Junior World Cross Country race in GUIYANG, PR OF CHINA 28 MAR 2015. I am so excited to run for team USA, travel across the world and, to experience it all with one of my best friends and team-mate.

Valerie ConstienTell us about the World Cross Country Championships you qualified for. What will be the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge of this experience is going to be dealing with my inexperience with traveling. I am not too worried about the race because that is what I practice for every day here in Boulder. I am, however, nervous to race the best young women in the world.

How do you typically prepare for a race? Do you have any routines or traditions? Are there any similarities between your pre-race routine and a pre-engineering exam routine?
To prepare for a race I usually try to get extra sleep the week leading up to the race. I also try to eat very healthy food the week leading up to the race. The only similarity between race preparation and engineering exam preparation that I can think of is that the week leading up to a big race the intensity of the workouts increases just like the intensity of studying increases before a big test.     

EVEN's Val Constien took 2nd place at the USA Cross Country Championships 
February 7th 2015!

June 9th 2018 - EVEN Student Val Constien placed fifth on the NCAA Championships!

                                                                                                                               March 9th 2015