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Balancing Academics & Athletics

June 21, 2016
Photo of Madeline running at a U of M track meet.
Madeline Strandemo

ALL student and University of Minnesota track athlete Madeline Strandemo is a junior pursuing a dual degree in marketing and Asian Languages & Literatures (ALL). Madeline’s ability to strike a balance between academic achievement and athetic success is admirable.

Strandemo is originally from Fargo, ND, but she grew up abroad in Beijing and Hong Kong. This experience fostered a special interest in Chinese culture for her. The University of Minnesota was the perfect choice for Strandemo, who was excited to continue improving her Chinese through the Chinese Flagship program in ALL.

Her studies have motivated her to apply to the capstone year and attend Nanjing University in the fall of 2017. “I want to do this because a year in China studying at a Chinese university and working for a Chinese company will be a great cultural experience and the best way to improve my Chinese,” she explained.

Although her studies in ALL and the laps she runs around the track may seem unrelated, Strandemo finds that persistence is the key to achieving at high levels in both. “Learning Chinese is a long, slow process that requires serious commitment and time to really get to a good level of proficiency,” she said. “Distance running is the same. It took me two years of consistent, hard work before I was able to see bigger results on the track this year.”

In April, her 4x1600m relay team took first place at the Drake Relays, she won the 1500m event at the Holst Invitational in St. Paul, and she took 3rd place in the 3000m steeplechase event at the Virginia Challenge with the second fastest time in school history. She excelled in the Big Ten Championships, finishing in 2nd place in the 3000m steeplechase. Along with the efforts of the rest of the women’s track team, the Gophers were able to clinch a share of the Big Ten Championship title along with the Michigan Wolverines.