Courtney was born in Mundelein, IL, but moved to Nixa, MO where she would live until moving away for college. Although she was exposed to track at an early age, she grew up competing in several sports while focusing on gymnastics and soccer. She would go on to discover her love for long distance running her senior year of high school and went on to compete in cross country and track and field for the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
After a successful undergraduate career at UMKC where she had 5 All-American finishes and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry, Courtney decided to follow her college coach, James Butler, to the University of New Mexico to compete for the Lobos and attend graduate school. She would go on to lead the Lobos to a national championship in cross country, win an individual NCAA title in the steeplechase, and set the NCAA record in the steeplechase.
Shortly after completing her NCAA eligibility, she signed a contract with Nike and the Bowerman Track Club. In July of 2016, Courtney fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming an Olympian after finishing second in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in the steeplechase. She now trains at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, OR, and is coached by Jerry Schumacher and Pascal Dobert.