Sophomore Amber Henry has played a vital part in the success of the Weber State University cross-country team this year. She has been a major factor in the team’s success this season and has had a standout season.

Henry, who hails from Mountain View, Wyo., was named the 2011 Big Sky Cross-Country Individual Champion and helped the team to the Big Sky Conference title.

She has been running competitively since seventh grade. She first started running during spring track in Wyoming, and she also played multiple other sports while in school. Henry said running has always been something in her life that she has enjoyed.

“I enjoy running because I have the ability to do so and it is my stress-reliever in life,” Henry said. “I love all the opportunities I have received with it. I have got to travel and see lots of really neat places.”

As she is a sophomore, Henry’s teammates and coaches have high expectations for her as a leader on the Wildcat squad. Teammate Kayla Blackford said that Henry has brought a lot to the WSU team and helps lift the other members of the team.

“She is a strong leader for our team through her actions and performances,” Blackford said. “She definitely leads by example and always reminds herself to stay confident.”

Blackford said one of the most important characteristics of Henry’s team leadership is her positive outlook on running and life. During the conference meet, Blackford had an experience that she said stuck with her and showed Henry’s good attitude.

“Before the conference race,” Blackford said, “I told her I was unbearably nervous, and she told me to make sure all the butterflies were flying in the same direction.”

Head Coach Paul Pilkington said having Henry on his team has been great, and that, besides being a great athlete and leader, she has been a great teammate.

“Amber is a great asset to the team, academically and athletically,” Pilkington said. “We are very lucky to have her on our squad. She is a great teammate and very coachable.”

Henry is a nursing major and, while at WSU, she has received academic honors. Pilkington said it takes discipline and balance to manage being a good student and an excellent athlete. He said her work ethic translates into her running.

“She is one of the most talented runners I have coached, and it all comes from her work ethic,” Pilkington said. “Amber is always finding new ways to better herself in every aspect of her life, not just running.”

Outside of cross-country, Henry said she enjoys spending time with her family and friends at their ranch in Wyoming or at the lake or in the mountains. Henry’s goal with running is to become an All-American in track. If the opportunity presented itself to her, she said she wouldn’t turn down the chance to run professionally or compete in the Olympic games. She said she is a very competitive person and that running has given her the chance to compete in a sport she loves.

Henry will be in action again on Nov. 12, when she will lead the WSU women’s cross-country team in the NCAA Mountain Region Championships in Provo, Utah.

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