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9x NCAA champion Liz Kujawa (Woodworth) Joins D3 Glory Days


“If I expect them [my teammates] to give everything they have, then I better be doing that every single time that I step on that track. So that was always how I tried to lead.”

One of the most decorated middle distance runners in D3 history almost stepped away from the sport entirely. Liz Kujawa (Woodworth) went to UW-Oshkosh with the intention to run and study athletic training. The AT major was demanding and the director of the program told her it would be difficult to run while being enrolled in the program. Her successful freshman year made her realize she could become something special in running and sought a major that would better align with her training schedule.

As her success piled up early on, she always wanted to make sure she was being a positive example for the other women on her team by leading by example. While she may not have been the most talkative on the team, she knew her success would be motivation for the rest of the team.

It was clear throughout her career that team success meant more to her than her individual success. Winning the DMR title as a Sophomore was one of her career highlights as she shared that moment with her teammates. As a senior, she agreed to double at the National Championships because it meant giving her a team a chance to win and of course, they won.

What made Liz so good was her love for the sport. When a stress fracture kept her from her junior year cross country season, she realized the worst part of the injury was not running – the same thing she mentioned as her least favorite part of cross country and track. Her love grew over time and she understood all the benefits running provided.

From this conversation, you’d never expect Liz to have walked away from Oshkosh as:

  • 7x national individual champion (six 800m titles in a row, one 1500m)

  • 3x XC All American (2x runner up)

  • 2x national DMR champion

  • 2x All-American in track

  • 1500m national record holder and 800m national record holder

Listen now: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

Liz Kujawa (Woodworth) D3 Glory Days Podcast


On her leadership style

“If I expect them [my teammates] to give everything they have, then I better be doing that every single time that I step on that track. So that was always how I tried to lead.”

On improving her times

“I was very thankful to have the opportunities to win, but ultimately, it was about the times. I wanted to see how I compared to the clock and see the improvement there.

On doubling at the NCAA Championships

“I felt like it was me just doing my part. His women were doing their part and I needed to do mine. I mean, that’s what team is all about.”

On facing Missy Buttry

“It was good having her, too. She really reset the bar for Division Three. And it got me thinking, ‘she can do it, why can’t I?’”

On her career

“I think just the best way to sum up is, I am glad I gave myself the opportunity. And you never know. You never know.

To her teammates, competitors and coaches

“Thank you for everything. You guys meant a lot to me. And I appreciate all the support.”

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This past season was a great undertaking in our labor of love. We enjoy bringing you this content and we realized we could do so much more with a little bit of backing. We want to ensure D3 gets the coverage it deserves and keep this website paywall free! If you have enjoyed this podcast and the articles we have put, please consider becoming a Patreon of D3 Glory Days. In full disclosure, the money will go directly into the show: equipment, subscriptions we need, and most importantly, money to our writers. If you are able, we would appreciate your support.

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