Cross Country

Mimi Reimers Seeks More Success in her Final Year Running for Loyola

Steve Woltmann | Loyola AthleticsThree-time First-Team All-MVC Mimi Reimers returns for her final year with the Ramblers.

As a graduate student, Mimi Reimers is running in her fifth year for Loyola after a shortened season last spring. After four years of improvement and victories, she is heading into her final year with clear goals and high hopes.

A standout athlete, Reimers has been crucial in Loyola’s recent success in cross country and track and field.

Reimers’ success has been met with a plethora of awards. She has been named to the First Team All-Missouri Valley Conference three times, MVC Scholar-Athlete Team three times and the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic Team once. However, the decorated athlete isn’t focused on the accolades.

“I think it has been such a fun experience running in college, that’s what it really comes down to for me,” she said.

With her experience and strong work ethic, women’s cross country associate head coach Alan Peterson sees her as a key pillar on the team.

“She is one of the girls the team looks up to,” he said. “She puts in a lot of work and people can see that. You know you are always going to have Mimi to rely on”

Fourth-year distance runner Claire Hengesbaugh also said that she sees Reimers as a key leader on the team.

“She is good at integrating the younger girls with all the little things you need to do to be good,” Hengesbaugh said. “She’s also good at lifting spirits. She’s a hard worker, but keeps the atmosphere relaxed and enjoyable.”

Peterson said that Reimers trains the most while running the longest at practices, making her a role model for other runners. Hengesbaugh said that

Reimers runs 65 to 70 miles a week, encouraging the rest of the team.

While utilizing her fifth year of eligibility, Reimers is pursuing her master’s degree after earning her undergraduate degree in biology.

After earning her place on the team over the last few years, runner Mimi Reimers is ready to remain a consistent power for Loyola in her final season.

The Shaker Heights, Ohio native hit the ground running in her first year at Loyola. In cross country, she placed 23rd at the MVC Cross Country Championships, going onto the NCAA Midwest Regional competition where she finished 149th.

She also found her place on Loyola’s all-time leaderboard after her performance at the Mt. SAC Relays. Reimers earned a 16:55.39 time in the 5,000m run — the eighth-fastest time in program history.

As a sophomore, Reimers emerged as a top distance runner. Noting her improvements, Peterson said that she increased her distance at practice while training more frequently. He said the effects were apparent.

“Sophomore year is when she had a big step up,” Peterson said.

Appearing at three MVC championship events, she won four top-ten finishes. Her success includes a third-place finish in the 5,000m race. Reimers’ performance made 2019 the second year in a row Loyola placed two out of the top three in the event, with Lindsey Brewis also on the podium.

In her junior campaign, Reimers scored in all four cross country meets while excelling in track and field. At the MVC Cross Country Championships, she won second place in the 5k, helping the Ramblers win their first title in program history. Reimers said that winning the title is her proudest achievement.

“It was cool to see us all come together like that,” she said. “It is something that I wanted to have happen since I got here.”

Despite COVID-19 cutting her season short, the pandemic helped Reimers change how she approached distance running. She said that she was able to reframe what running meant to her. She began to focus on her love for the sport and how she practiced.

“I used to be very competitive, I would not do this without the competition,” she said. “It reframed how I motivated myself to train, especially because so much of it was done on my own when we were home.”

During her fourth year, Reimers’ return to the fundamentals boosted her to greater heights. Most notably, at the MVC Cross Country Championships, she placed third in the 5k. Her performance helped Loyola secure its second-straight title in women’s cross country, making the program the only to repeat since Bradley did in 2017-2018.

As a freshman, she was mentored by Lindsey Brewis, one of the most decorated runners in program history. Brewis, a redshirt senior during Reimers’ sophomore season, was named MVC Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year two years in a row. Reimers said that Brewis helped her become a better runner.

“From the very beginning, she pushed me to push myself more,” said Reimers. “I’d fall behind pretty quickly, but she always encouraged me”.

Now, as a seasoned veteran, she still recognizes the team-first mentality that Brewis encouraged.

“Everyone encourages and [pushes] each other,” Reimers said. “We all rely on each other.”

Hengesbaugh said that Brewis’ influence on Reimers has been key in transforming team culture.

“Mimi fulfills a very similar positive role on the team,” Hengesbaugh said. “It’s great to see how one person’s leadership has positive effects for years to come.”

Entering her final year, Reimers is thrilled for a full season, after the pandemic-shortened spring 2021 season consisting of only eight meets.

“I’m grateful to have these opportunities and have a normal schedule,” Reimers said.

She’s already made an impact so far — Reimers placed 11th in the 6k at the Redbird Invitational on Sept. 17, helping the women’s team secure third place. After getting off on the right foot, Reimers is facing the rest of the

season with an optimistic outlook. “The goal this year is to win another conference championship,” she said. “We can also look beyond the conference and see what we can do on a regional, maybe national level.”

Noticing Reimers’ impact on the team, Hengsebaugh said that she is essential for success this season.

“We rely on leadership from mature girls who have been there,” Hengsebaugh said. “We could not do well without good leadership [like Mimi].”

Reimers and the Ramblers will next compete when they travel to the Bradley Pink Classic in Peoria. Start time is scheduled for Oct. 15 at 2:00 pm CT.

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