Gabriele Anderson Grunewald was raised in small town, Perham, Minnesota with four other siblings, all invested in sports. “Gabe” as known by her teammates, is full of perseverance and has the strength to never give up, at anything. Gabe has overcome multiple obstacles that have made her stronger and given her will power to see what she is capable of accomplishing.
Gabriele attended Perham High School where she participated in cross country, basketball and track. Before she graduated in 2004, she was a four-time all-state performer in cross country and was the 2004 state champion in the 800 meters. She also won 4 conference titles in both the 800 and 1600 meters. After graduating from Perham High School, she continued her track and field and cross country career as a walk on at the University of Minnesota.
In 2007, Gabriele placed 2nd in the 800m at the Big Ten Indoor Championships and in 2009, placed 2nd in the mile. 2009, was Gabriele’s senior season, so she thought until everything changed. Anderson had found a lump on her neck, that was confirmed a tumor. Just one day before a race in Arizona, a call came from her doctor that informed her it was a rare cancer of the salivary gland. Even after dealing with this devastating news, Gabe raced the next day and set a PR and 6th fastest time in Gopher history in the 1500m, illustrating how she would deal with adversity.
In 2010, Gabe filed for medical hardship with the NCAA and was granted another season of eligibility. Once Gabe started training again, she began to excel at a rapid rate in just a short amount of time. Gabriele finished her Gopher career strong in the 2010 season. Gabriele finished 2nd at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 1500m. She also finished 2nd in the 800m and 1500m at the 2010 Big Ten Outdoor Championships. After completing an amazing season, Gabe began to see that she may have a future in the sport beyond college. She was inspired by how she was able to come back and was eager to see what she could do in the future.
To reach the next step, Gabriele joined Team USA Minnesota. In August, Brooks signed Gabe to their roster as she continued to run well throughout the summer of 2010. After her first season as an elite athlete, Gabe went for a routine check up from her first diagnosis and another growth was discovered. Cancer again. Shortly after surgery, Gabe was already putting in milesand regaining her fitness.
Gabe continued to shave down her time and started thinking like an Olympic athlete. She entered the 2012 Olympic Trials ranked 5th. Gabe started the 2nd heat of the semifinals with confidence that she had what it takes to be an Olympian. With just 300 meters left in the race, another racer started to lean into her and she reacted by putting up her hand to avoid being ran off the track.She finished in 2nd place, advancing to the finals, but later that night found out that her contact with the other runner had caused her to be disqualified. The next afternoon, she received the news that she would be lining up with the other racers for the finals. Gabe finished 4th in a time of 4:07.38, just one spot out of Olympic contention.
Following the Olympics in 2012, Gabe took it one day at a time and continued to improve her times on the elite circuit. She lowered her PR to 4:04.84 and took home a first place finish in Lignano, Italy. Gabe is continuing to compete and improve her elite rankings, while keeping the main goal of the 2016 Games in sight.
2012 – US Olympic Trial Finalist 2010 – USA Outdoor Championships 1500 meters – 7th 2010 – NCAA Outdoor Championships 1500 meters – 2nd 2010 – Big Ten Outdoor Championships 1500 meters – 2nd 2010 – Big Ten Outdoor Championships 800 meters – 2nd 2009 – Big Ten Indoor Mile – 2nd 2007 – Big Ten Indoor 800 meters – 2ndGabriele's website »