Heather Sandvik, a senior sustainability studies major and long-distance running star, has dealt with multiple injuries and setbacks in her athletic career. Despite these obstacles, she's achieved several athletic goals and is prepared to graduate alongside her peers this spring. 

Sandvik, a Westerville native, began her running career in middle school with inspiration from her older sister. She quickly fell in love with the sport and has been running ever since.  

Some of Sandvik's personal athletic goals have been ambitious, including her desire to run a mile in under five minutes. She said she's been attempting to achieve this goal since her freshman year of high school and has been really close. 

However, this goal has been hard for Sandvik to achieve due to several running injuries, including stress fractures in her feet. In 2018, Sandvik suffered a major setback when she tore her perennial tendon and suffered another stress fracture.


This put a temporary halt in Sandvik’s senior running seasons, but she was determined to come back from the injury. In her senior indoor track season, Sandvik ran in the 1,000-meter race, which she won, and in the distance medley relay at the OACs, where her team also won. 

Sandvik was also crowned All-American as part of the distance medley relay for the NCAA Championship D3 indoor track meet this past season, where the team placed fourth. Sandvik ran the 1,200-meter leg of the relay. To qualify as All-American, a runner must be in the top 12 in the nation to qualify a relay to the national meet. Teams in the top eight in each event at the championship meet are crowned All-American. 

In the future, Sandvik would like to see herself move up in distance and potentially chase an Olympic Trials Qualifier. She also would like to coach track and cross-country.