Since graduating from Saugus, Nelson has dropped her personal bests on the track to 2:17 for 800 meters, 4:33 for 1,500 meters, 5:01 for 1,600 meters, 10:31, 17:54 for 5,000 meters (cross country), 21:03 for 6,000 meters (cross country), and 39:55 for 10,000 meters. While at Glendale College, she won four Western State Conference titles (cross country, 1,500 meters, 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters), two Southern Section crowns (1,500 meters and 5,000 meters), and one state championship (1,500 meters), as well as several team titles in both cross country and track.
In Lizzy's first two races in a Cal State Northridge, she won the University of San Francisco Invitational in a new 5,000-meter personal best of 17:54 and clocked 21:03 over 6K for fourth at the Riverside Invitational. That mark makes her the fifth fastest performer for 6K in SCV history, trailing only Lauren Fleshman, Shannon Murakami, Stephanie Bulder and Grace Graham-Zamudio. How's she do it you might be asking? Years and years of dedication and hard work ... Here's an interview with Lizzy Nelson. Hope you all enjoy a great interview with a great individual:
I remember one time I was doing a cross country race and I was taking so long to finish that they had to turn the clock off and start another race while I was still racing. Needless to say, I was not much of a running fan after that and quit when I was in eighth-grade to try hip-hop dancing. I rejoined cross country and track when I entered high school because my mom was coaching at Saugus and convinced me to give it another chance. We made a deal, though, that I would only have to run two years to satisfy my P.E credits.
After improving in the 1600m by almost 30 seconds after my sophomore year, I decided to run another two years, but I never planned on running in college. I pretty much ran on the junior varsity squad all four years. I eventually worked up to the varsity training group my senior year, but I was never in the top seven. I always dreamed of being in the top seven at Saugus, but I knew my chances we very slim. The idea of being part of one of the state championship teams seemed so special. My biggest problem was also my insecurities and the varsity girls always seemed so confident. I guess I thought that if I ever made varsity, I would finally feel like that too.
My mom also stepped down as a coach my senior track season. After that my motivation really declined and I really started to hate running. My mom was offered a coaching position at Glendale Community College right around the time of my graduation, though, so I decided that since she would be at Glendale, I would continue running only two more years there. I definitely did not plan on running in college until my mom took the coaching position at Glendale College.
My dad also helped a lot because he became my Sunday running partner. On Sundays we were supposed to run long, but we did not have organized practice, so we had to run alone. I felt like I had an advantage because I never had to run alone and he always did what ever distance I had to run even though he would say it was hard for him because he's getting old. He still always pushed the pace though!
I also ran a lot more mileage at Glendale than at Saugus, which helped me lose weight and become more confident.
Once I knew how fast she was, I really hoped that I could at least finish second or third at the state meet. She was the favorite going into the state meet. Coach Eddie Lopez told me that I could win. I just had to stay relaxed and start kicking with 400 to go. When we had 100 meters left, I thought for sure I was going to get second, but then with 70 meters to go I suddenly had a second wind and was able to kick a little faster. I felt really sick when I crossed the finish line, though, and they made us get on the awards podium right away. I remember trying really hard not to throw up in front of everyone.