I am 21 years old with one goal- to be an elite track runner. I started as a 100m hurdler and jumper, then progressed to the 400m hurdles was so sure I was official 800m runner and now I run the 400m.
I started running when I was 13 years old my freshman year of high school at Mary Help of Christians Academy, a small all girls school that didn’t even have a track team my freshman year. I was never the superstar athlete. Locally, some coaches and athletes new me, but I was never the athlete to look for. You would think someone as unnamed as me would never think about running pro one day when there were so many other athletes better than me, but that didn’t stop me. At the time I knew I’d be a great 100m hurdler in the future. My love for track never changed but clearly I don’t hurdle anymore.
I started my collegiate career as a walk on at Villanova University in 2011. Again, you would think a walk on would just be happy to wear the school jersey, but just being at the meet wasn’t enough. I fought every meet regardless of who was in my heat. I’ve been blessed to have competed in Big East Championships indoor and outdoor for relays and individual events in the 500, DMR and 4×400 meter relay and NCAA Outdoor East Regionals for the 400m hurdles. I’ve constantly progressed and got stronger as an athlete. When I realized I had the chance to no longer be the underdog, with the support of my friends and family, I made the decision to transfer. To this point, I was a solid 400m hurdler with no chance of changing.
I ran my last two years of college at The University of Connecticut. After foot injuries and frustrating meets during my first indoor season at UConn, I decided to try the 800m race and I was successful in the event. By my senior year,I achieved numerous academic and athletic achievements. I have been successful in American Athletic Conference Championships both indoor and outdoor and NCAA Outdoor East Regionals in the 4x400m relay and in the 800m race. I am also happy to say I made it with my 4x400m relay team to NCAA Outdoor Championships my junior year.
My senior year did not end as well as I had wanted. I did place in various meets including indoor and outdoor conference championships. I was able to be indoor conference champ in the 800m and I qualified for NCAA Outdoor East Regionals. However, I didn’t really progress as much as my I did my previous years competing.
Looking back at my track career, I could easily have hung up my spikes and accepted having an okay track career. I could have listened to previous coaching advice and family comments about me being better off focusing as an academic girl because I couldn’t compete with the elite runners. However, looking back at my career, I have learned so much, but never had the opportunity to really put everything I’ve learned into action. Every time I get better, the standards are raised, but I refuse to let these standards scare me. Too many times I’ve been told I couldn’t achieve certain things in track because I didn’t have the background or the look. Too many times people have seen me in the present and thought that was all I could be. I am not going to start this year yelling I’m the best or I’m going straight to the Olympics. I don’t know how far this talent will take me but I am going to let God and myself determine where this journey ends, not anyone else.
This experience is daunting and tiring and the future is unclear. For this reason, I use my dreams, some interesting, some strange to get through difficult transition phases. So welcome to my dreams.