May 5, 2009
Senior track and field/cross country student-athlete Ashley Rittenbacher took some time off from studying for finals and training to talk with NIUHuskies.com. Rittenbacher and the Huskies take to the track for their first home meet in 27 years, Saturday, May 9, at the new NIU Track & Field and Soccer Complex.
What is your biggest accomplishment as an athlete?
Being in top-five in cross country for four years.
What is your biggest accomplishment off the field?
Getting into the nursing program and doing well in it. It’s a really hard program to get into and not a lot of people get in.
What is something you have yet to accomplish?
I want to finish running track for my fourth year, hopefully do well in the steeplechase. I’d like to keep getting good grades and hopefully get my GPA up even more.
What is your favorite food?
Ice cream, vanilla and mint. I like Chinese food a lot. I like everything as long as it’s not red or has vegetables.
What do you want to be doing in 10 years?
I hope to be a nurse, working in a hospital - hopefully on a psychiatric unit. Hopefully I’ll have a family by then. Maybe I’ll have dogs.
What is your most annoying habit?
Procrastinating, definitely. I procrastinate on everything, every possible thing I could ever procrastinate on I do.
What's your biggest fear?
I’m afraid of heights pretty bad. I get really freaked out at Starved Rock and that’s not even that high. The Sears Tower, that was pretty scary.
If you could invite three people for dinner, who would they be?
God, my Grandpa because he died before I was born, Steve Prefontaine
What did you want to do growing up?
I wanted to be a marine biologist because I like dolphins and I wanted to stay by the ocean. I won the career poster contest.
What is there to do in your hometown of New Lenox, Ill.?
My hometown isn’t very exciting. We moved there when I was in fourth grade. There was nothing there, no stores or anything. Now it is more built up. We were the first house in our neighborhood. It was scary.
Do you have any superstitions?
If I can bend over and touch my toes I always know I’m going to do good because I can’t do it normally. I can’t even get down to my shin.
Where do you hang out on campus?
I guess the nursing building? I don’t really like it that much, but that’s where I am most of the time.
Favorite artist on your iPod?
If you stop at a gas station on a road trip, what do buy?
I always get the chocolate covered pretzels and a Slurpee.
What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas, you get a break from school and it’s just a time to relax and be with your family and hang out.
What is the best advice you’ve received from a coach?
My coach from high school was very helpful. He used to always tell me to run as fast as you can and then run faster. He always said you’re going to be hurting anyway, so why not run faster and feel good about it.
If you could have one superhero power what would it be?
I would want to fly. Then you wouldn’t have to sit in traffic. It’s easier to get around. More convenient, cheaper - you wouldn’t have to pay for gas.
What was your First and worst job?
I always babysat when I was little. My first real job was lifeguarding. My worst job was I worked at Steamboat for two days. It’s a hotdog place by my house. They told me I had to just wipe off the tables and she made me fold the toilet paper into triangles every time somebody used it. It was ridiculous. I only made it two days. I love hot dogs now though.
Who is your non-sport hero?
My parents, they have worked hard their whole lives. They just really worked hard to get where they are now. They always set a good example, were very encouraging and motivating.