Claudia Dassow, daughter of Karen and Elliot Dassow, is our Jet’s Pizza Female Athlete of the Week.
She is a junior at Centennial High School and a member of the varsity cross country team.
This year, she broke the school record with a time of 19:35 and her teammates voted for her to be titled this season’s MVP. She also placed first in the MSCCA Dickson meet and the APSV Classic meet.
She started running cross country in 7th grade.
“My friend Kate Maddox said I should try it out,” Dassow said. “I didn’t know then how much I would come to love it!”
When asked what inspires her to train and compete she said that her strong desire to make it to the state meet kept her motivated. She also attributed her drive to her teammates encouragement at practice and meets.
One of her biggest role models and inspirations is former Olympic runner, Steve Prefontaine.
“He ran with confidence knowing that he had the capacity to control the next race ahead of him,” she said. “He ran with a never quit mentality…”
She said Prefontaine said her favorite quote of all: “I do it because I can. I can because I want to. I want to because you said I couldn’t.”
CHS cross country coach, Marcy Bove said of Dassow:
Claudia is a talented and hard-working student athlete, who although was our number one varsity runner, continued to improve throughout the season. She set the new school record this year and finished ninth in the State Championship. Claudia wrapped up her season as a 2017 All Mid-State Silver Team athlete in AAA.
After graduating, she said she is unsure of where she would like to attend college, but she is sure she would like to continue running competitively. She hopes to eventually go to medical school to pursue a career as an endocrinologist.