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1) What have been some of the highlights of your college career to this point?
The highlights of my college career include meeting teammates and best friends, along with placing in both hurdles events at the Crossroads League meet. Our conference is very competitive at the NAIA level and it was an honor to be able to score points for our team, but I know that we are hungry next year to get the team title back to Indianapolis. Some future highlights that I hope can occur in my last three years of running are qualifying for nationals.
2) Discuss the transition from high school competition to competing at the college level. What adjustments did you have to make in order to be as successful as possible?
The transition from high school competition to college competition is a 180 in my eyes. In high school, you might be able to slide by at a meet or not go hard during a week of practice. I remember going into meets knowing that I might not have a lot of competition, so I did not go 100%.
This is far from the case while facing college competition, though. Every meet matters, especially at the NAIA level because you can hit certain times to automatically qualify for nationals. Aside from that, every athlete that you compete against is hungry to beat the other runners on the track. If you're not on your 'A' game, it will show. In order to be successful at the collegiate level, you definitely have to push yourself to the fullest during every week of practice, and especially on meet day.
3) Tell us about your training regimen by giving a general overview of what goes into getting prepared for your next big event.
A typical week of training when we are in season includes two to three tough workouts, along with a lot of recovery in the training room which can consist of stretching and ice baths. We also continue our strength training two times a week to make sure we can be at our best throughout our seasons, indoor and outdoor.
4) What athletic-based goals do you hope to accomplish during this upcoming year?
My main goal this upcoming year is to feed off of what I accomplished last year. I definitely feel like working hard this summer and fall, big things can happen if I stay healthy and on the right training path for this upcoming season. I learned a lot in my first collegiate season and just want to grow upon all of it.
Secondly, something I really want to do is be able to score a lot of points at our conference meets. Last season we had two tough experiences at those meets as a team and were unable to win the championship in either indoor or outdoor. I don't necessarily care about getting first as an individual, but I would definitely love to place high to help our team bring a championship back to Marian.
5) Do you have any advice that you can offer an incoming freshman on how to best deal with the higher level of competition they'll encounter at the college level? Also, what tips can you provide regarding the balance between training commitments and academic demands?
The biggest piece of training advice I can give to incoming freshman is to always make sure to be prepared and ready for anything that you might encounter. Whether this means in training when you're tired but have one more rep, or maybe at a meet when you have to deal with an injury. Doing the things that are necessary to be at your best will definitely pay off in the long run. Get the right amount of sleep, eat right, and show up to every lifting session and run.
When competing at the collegiate level, never doubt yourself. If you go into a meet thinking that you can't hang with the big dogs, then you already are selling yourself short. Run every race like it's your last, and believe in all of the hard work you've put into your training. No matter how many trophies or accolades your opponents might have, when it comes down to it, you're all racing the same distance and both waiting for the same gun to go off. "Scared feet don't eat."
Balancing academics and training commitments can definitely be hard, but if you use your resources around you it can make it a lot easier. Make sure to work hard at study tables and not get distracted. You're at study tables to get all of your work done so you don't have to worry about it come the weekend when you have a meet. Meeting with your academic advisor can be a big help because they can pave a path for you to follow throughout the semester. Although track might be the reason you're going to the school you'll be attending, the real reason you're there is to get your degree. Make sure to stay on top of your academics because these four years of running will be short compared to the four years of education that can be used for a lifetime. Being a collegiate athlete is a grind no matter the level, but enjoy the hard work, as with it comes memories that you can forever cherish.