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GCU Running Club Athlete Transitions to Lopes’ NCAA Division 1 Team

July 8, 2021

Drisko’s hard work pays off

By: Maria Adams/GCU Club Sports Writing Staff

A tale of one very determined dreamer.

Lopes’ sophomore Kendall Drisko spent the 2020-21 school year training hard with Grand Canyon University Running Club. Drisko excelled in her first – and only – road race with the team when she placed first overall for females.

Her success did not stop there.

Drisko later ran a time trial that earned her a spot on the Lopes’ NCAA Division 1 Cross Country roster.

Drisko completed her freshman year at California State University, Chico, where she planned to run competitively, but injuries kept her on the sidelines. Upon recovering, she made her way over to GCU and arrived to campus with an agenda.

“When I transferred to GCU, I knew I wanted to continue running,” said Drisko. “The NCAA roster was full, and my times just weren’t where they needed to be. As soon as I realized that the running club was an option, I got involved. After hitting times I was happy with, I reached out to (Lopes’ NCAA Head Cross Country Coach) Sara (Slattery) on the NCAA side, and we just started chatting and working out a plan.”

The plan?

Drisko will walk on to Slattery’s squad for the fall of 2021. While undoubtedly a momentous accomplishment, it was all in accordance with the goals Drisko had already set for herself.

“She had the potential, kept her eyes on the prize, and did what she needed to do,” said recently retired Lopes’ Running Club Head Coach Kimberly Weeldreyer. “I am so excited that she is getting this opportunity.”

Drisko’s work ethic set her apart in Slattery’s mind as well.

“Kendall has been a very dedicated athlete,” said Slattery. “She trained consistently all year – during a pandemic – and ran the time all by herself in a time trial. I was very impressed by her dedication to train through a tough year, and I’m really excited to have her become a part of our program.”

Drisko is ready to embark on this new endeavor, but she still credits much of her current circumstances to her time with the GCU Running Club.

“During club, I definitely rediscovered my love for running,” said Drisko. “Running by myself was not easy, so having people to train with every day and push me in my workouts was what motivated me.”

Interested in what GCU Running Club has to offer? Visit the team page to learn more!