Q&A: Getting to know Boerne’s Emma Stauber

August 21, 2018 GMT

Boerne senior Emma Stauber opened the cross country season Friday with a victory at the North East ISD Invitational.

Stauber figures to be one of the area’s top distance runners after she finished fourth in the Class 4A UIL state cross country meet last season (She was 47th as a sophomore). Stauber carried that momentum over to spring’s track and field season when she earned a bronze in the 1,600-meter run and finished fourth in the 3,200 in her state-track debut.

As part of her preparation for this season, Stauber attended a running camp in Boulder, Colorado last month. After the camp, she and her brother, Boone, and father, Eric, scaled Long’s Peak, a nearby mountain summit that has an elevation of 14,259 feet. They took the popular 15-mile Keyhole Route, and it took 11 hours to get up and down.

When Stauber is not running, she dabbles in orchestra. She has played viola since she was in fifth grade. She described her proficiency as “Well, I’m on the varsity.”

E-N: You showed great improvement from your sophomore to junior year in cross country and that rolled into track, what was the big reason for the improvement?

Stauber: “The first is just maturity - getting older and being able to handle the training and more miles. That’s huge, especially in cross country.”

E-N: You finished fourth at state in cross country, what were your thoughts when you realized what you did?

Stauber: “It took me about two weeks to really process what that meant in terms of what my goals were for track and cross country for this year. Obviously, you want to do better, but you have to start focusing on times and personal improvements.”

E-N: How did you feel about your state-track performance?

Stauber: “I was incredibly overjoyed. The top three was amazing and the top four, especially in the (3,200) from cross country to track was great because I had gotten so much faster.”

E-N: What goals have you set for this season?

Stauber: “To see where I can get. Obviously, I want to get faster and who know what that means? Everyone else is trying to get faster, too. I want to achieve what I can - the maximum of what I can do in high school and get myself ready for what we hope is a successful (move) into the college area.”

E-N: You summited Long’s Peak with your father and brother, what prompted you guys to do that?

Stauber: “We boulder a lot, which is rock climbing. A lot of bouldering columns you have to hike out to, so we do a lot of hiking for fun, also. My dad’s company has an office in Boulder, Colorado. Two years ago, my dad’s co-workers asked him to go with them, but they got snowed out. It’s been one of my dad’s big goals. When I wanted to do the Boulder running camp, he told me, ‘Why don’t we do Long’s afterwards?’ You’ll be acclimated. I’ll be acclimated. We can do this.”

E-N: When you got up there, what was that feeling like?

Stauber: “Just to be up there with the other people who had done it was amazing because you are up on the top. It really hadn’t sunk in like ‘Hey, I’ve done this now.’ It was still beautiful. When one we got there, one of the guys who was already up there said, ‘I ran cross country three years ago.’ Another said, ‘I run it in my high school now.’ It was a bunch of cross country runners up there on top.”

E-N: When you had time to process it, what did you think about it?

Stauber: “So, I’m scared of heights. That was a big factor for me getting up that mountain and trusting my dad enough and trusting my footing enough to get up. … Once we were down, I got an appreciation for the mountain and the weather that’s up there. We were totally whipped around by the winds the whole way up. I got an appreciation for the fact you are not that far from Boulder, but you are here and you are exposed and you are in the wilderness and you are not only in nature, but in nature’s realm and nature’s power because she can knock you off that mountain if she wants.”

E-N: What do you enjoy about orchestra?

Stauber: “Part of it is I’m not competitive with it. It’s the one thing I can sit down and do and when I want to play, I can play. I don’t have to worry about getting this many hours of practice. It’s not like with running. I love running and I love practicing and going on runs, but there are some days when you don’t want to do it and you have to get up and do it. With orchestra, if I feel like playing I will play.”

E-N: How has that helped you temper your competitive side in running? Do you find there’s a balance there?

Stauber: “Absolutely. Not as much balance as in, ‘This is overwhelming, so I go turn to orchestra.’ But, it is the kind of knowledge that you are balancing your personality and you are not getting into this side of ‘Go, go, go.’ It’s one class period, and I have one class period a day where I can just focus on playing with my friends not worrying about anything else.”

David Hinojosa is a staff writer in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | dhinojosa@express-news.net | Twitter: @hinojosa_david