Hope College cross country runner Julia Stock prioritizes the care of others in everything she does.
The senior from Norton Shores, Michigan (Grand Haven HS) finds time for those around her amid a full week with classes, studying, practice, competition and a social life.
Stock is a servant leader, Hope cross country coach Mark Northuis said.
“She’s a solid person,” Northuis said. “She’s got a great heart for helping other people and that comes through in who she is. She’s a fun person, but she can get her work done. She still finds time to help others.”
Stock and her Flying Dutch are running in this weekend’s NCAA Division III national championships in Winneconne, Wisconsin. The 6K race at Lake Breeze Golf Course begins at 11 a.m. Central on Saturday.
Hope, ranked 12th in this week’s United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division III poll, qualified for nationals after winning the Great Lakes Regional last Saturday in Terre Haute, Indiana. It was the Flying Dutch’s second regional championship in four years and fifth overall.
Stock recorded Hope’s second-fastest time at regionals at 22 minutes, 32 seconds.
Earlier in the season, Stock and her teammates won the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship. She received All-MIAA Second Team honors.
Stock is a decorated student athlete in multiple sports. She made the All-MIAA Women’s Track & Field First Team last spring and the 2014-15 MIAA Academic Honor Roll.
Competing in two sports and pursuing a major in biology creates a busy schedule, Stock said, but one that is helpful to her. “Running cross country and track keeps me on track for school. I like having structure to my day,” she said. “It is a balance. You have to get used to it your freshman year. Having an activity outside of school helps me focus. Physical activity in your day keeps you awake and ready to go. I think athletics helps me in school.”
While Stock is busy running, it is not the only part of her college life. She is working on completing her biology degree.
After graduation, Stock plans to work in a hospital for a year, and then apply to a post-graduate physician assistant program.
Stock is looking forward to serving others in the medical field.
“I’ve always been interested in health,” Stock said. “Physician assistant is a career to serve people in the health care group.”
Stock is grateful for the nurturing she received growing up and when she arrived on campus at Hope College.
“I’ve had a lot of role models,” she said. “My mom (Maureen) is a nurse. She’s a really caring and loving woman. At Hope, I’ve had a couple of past captains who were role models, Morgan McCardell and Camille Borst being two of my favorites.
“All three just showed a lot of love to me and my teammates,” Stock said. “They showed what it takes to be a servant leader.”
Time at a student-athlete retreat with her coach, Mark Northuis, made an impact on Stock as well.
“Servant leadership is something I really strive for,” Stock said. “It’s something I’ve witnessed in other people, and I really appreciate it.”