Oct. 8, 2007
Senior distance runner Debbie Huss has had a fair share of highs and lows in her running career. Just a few months ago, she competed in the 10,000 meter event at the Outdoor NCAA Track & Field Championships and that was on the heels of running Cross Country National Championships. However, all of those experiences seemed a long way off while she battled injuries during the 2005-06 season. Throughout all of the fluctuations that life can offer, Huss has had one constant by her side: her twin sister, Amy.
From Wyomissing, Pa. to Nashville, Tenn., and finally to Tallahassee, Debbie and Amy have remained as close as ever. One would think that two people, even sisters, who spend so much of their time together would be likely to have some major competition. However, according to Debbie, that is far from the case.
“We’re both very supportive of each other, she said. “We have our own individual efforts and accomplishments, but I’m never completely satisfied unless she’s right there beside me, enjoying it and doing well for herself.”
Of course, they are participating in a highly competitive activity, and they both strive for the top, but it is more a situation in which they push each other for the benefit of both.
“Once the gun goes off she’s a competitor like anybody else,” Debbie said. “But I also think because of having that unique bond that we have, when we’re together racing and we are healthy together, when we’re side by side, I feel like the energy level is a lot greater, and we both want to accomplish great things.”
Unfortunately, as of late, Amy has been hampered by injuries, so the Huss sisters haven’t been able to compete together. It wasn’t too long ago that they went through a similar situation in which the roles were reversed. “Right now I’m a little bummed not having her out there as a partner as I normally have her, but she’s definitely been supportive of me, and I’ve been through the injuries part that she’s been going through as well.”
One venue that injuries can’t affect is the classroom, where both sisters excel. If school was a race, at this point, Amy may have taken the lead in terms of time, but Debbie may be pushing for more distance. Upon transferring from Vanderbilt last year, the two had different situations. Amy was able to finish her undergraduate degree in economics, while Debbie had to change majors.
As a result, for the first time in their lives, the two sisters will not be in school together as Amy will finish her graduate degree this year and Debbie will be graduating with her undergraduate degree in August.
“Coming from Vanderbilt University, my standards for academics have always been high.” Debbie noted. “I’m still very aggressive in the classroom, as I am on the track or cross country course. Academically, I’ll be finishing up undergrad here, and then looking to aspire to graduate school of some sort, whether it’s med school or graduate school for neuroscience, what ever I end up going into.”
As far as running play in a future of academic endeavors, Debbie has one possible solution of matching the two.
“I’m thinking about graduate school in Atlanta at Georgia State,” Debbie said. “Maybe working with Dr. Martin and Dr. Benidot, who I worked with in the past, and they’re both high up in the running realm as well as what they do individually for research. So, in that respect, even if I don’t continue running at the professional level, I at least can still be exposed to it, and that’s definitely an outlook that I’m looking into right now.”
As far as how long they can stay together, Debbie isn’t sure it will last much longer. “It’s going to be kind of hard after this year. She’ll be done, so I’m sure she’ll probably aspire to get a PhD or go into finding a job. In that regard, I think it’s going to be a little difficult to really stay together, but hopefully we won’t be too far apart, because we are very much attached at the hip, so to speak.”
In the midst of her final cross country season and the end of her collegiate career on the horizon this spring on the track, Debbie has set her goals high for her final seasons. She’ll settle for nothing less than a return to both the NCAA Cross Country and Outdoor Track Championships. She hopes that her sister is healthy enough so they can finish their careers just as they started. Together.