For runner Kirsten Mooney, senior year is becoming a crowning achievement

Senior Kirsten Mooney runs and runs most days. It has been this way since early in her life.

"I started competing in track when I was in fourth grade," said Mooney, in her last season as a UDM athlete. "A friend of mine's dad was a coach and that's when I started

Mooney, who is from Stirling, Ontario, has performed well and improved each year she has run for the Titans.

In 2008, her first season on the cross country team, she finished 60th at the Horizon League meet. In 2009 she moved up to 55th and in 2010 she set a personal record with a time of 19:31, placing 29th.

"The most rewarding part about running is just the fact that I accomplished things that I didn't think I could," Mooney said. "I also achieved school levels and it's great to reach levels physically that I didn't think I could

This season for cross country, Mooney is establishing herself as the senior leader.

In two meets in which there was team scoring, Mooney led the team placing fifth overall at the Detroit Titan Invitational and 56th at the National Catholic Championship.

"My goal for this season is to take off 35 seconds off of my time and be top ten in the Horizon League," said Mooney. "But for the team, I really want us to improve our standings in the Horizon League and I hope everybody just keeps getting better every

The personal accomplishments don't stop with cross country. She also competes on the track and field team and in her first semester on the team (2008) won team rookie of the year for the indoor season.

"Being named rookie of the year (ROY) really gave me the confidence in myself to make a positive impact for the team," Mooney said. "Also, it just inspired me to keep working hard because at the start of the season I had fears of not being ready… The award gave me self-confidence to keep going

Over the next few seasons, Mooney increased her performance in her three events: the 600-meter run, 800-meter run and the 400-meter relay.

 At the end of her career, she ranks first in Titan history for the 600-meter, third in the 800-meter and second in the 400-meter relay.

"It's a sense of accomplishment for me," Mooney said. "I'm really glad to achieve those records and just kept improving each season I competed by changing my eating and sleeping habits. I started to take better care of myself, and that's when I started to perform

While Mooney is happy with her career at UDM, she graduates in December and is making plans.

"I hope to become a police officer," Mooney said. "That is my goal. It would have to be somewhere in Canada because of citizenship issues here in the U.S. But that's the

For now, though, Mooney has some advice for the women on the cross country and track team.

"Just keep working hard at it," she said. "I say that because it will pay off at the end of the day. It might not seem like it at first but if you work hard enough, you will get