Tell us about yourself.
I am a sophomore public relations major with a psychology minor. I am from a small farm town, Manlius, Ill. Aside from being a student, I am also a member of Illinois State University’s Cross Country and Track teams, which keep me pretty busy. When I do have free time, I usually like to spend it with my close friends and family, reading, looking for new ideas on Pinterest or finding opportunities to travel to different places.
How did you get involved in cross country and track?
Growing up, I always enjoyed running and loved competing at the annual track meet our school held throughout elementary school. In junior high and the first two years of high school, I was mainly interested in the sprinting events, such as the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter run. But I wasn’t fast enough to qualify for the end of the season state meet, so I gave the 800-meter run a try and ended up loving it. My junior year of high school, I went out for cross country to improve for track, and I received All-State honors in both cross country in the fall and the 800-meter run that spring. So, my senior year was spent running anything from the 400-meter dash to the three-mile race, depending on the season.
Why did you choose to continue your running career at ISU?
It was after my junior year in high school that I decided that I loved track enough to want to pursue a running career at the collegiate level. I began receiving several recruitment letters, and it was such a great feeling. I originally was looking to go somewhere smaller like a Division III school, but once I got a letter from ISU, I decided that I definitely wanted to experience running at a Division I level. I looked at a couple other schools, but I knew all along that ISU was the perfect fit for me. I am incredibly happy that I ended up here!
Do you have a favorite song, playlist or genre that you like to run to?
I usually prefer to listen to my “Country” Pandora station when I run by myself. It’s really relaxing, but sometimes I will change it up and put on the “Today’s Hits” station.
Do you have a routine for before you run?
Besides the standard warm-up, there’s nothing I really do that’s different from everyone else on the team. I do have certain pairs of socks that are specifically for racing only; I don’t like to change into them until right before my race when I put my spikes on. I like to think it brings me good luck.
How do you manage being a student athlete and staying involved with PRSSA?
I really enjoy being involved with PRSSA and getting to interact with other students who are also passionate about public relations. So when I see that there’s an event and I don’t have anything going on with track or school, I usually try to sign up and participate. My distance coach has been really great too about letting me miss practice occasionally for all-day events like agency tours in Chicago.
Running shoes: Nike, Adidas or Reebok?
If you didn’t run, what other sport would you compete in?
I’m not sure if this qualifies as a sport, but I used to be on the dance team in high school and loved it. If I wasn’t running, I think I’d try to do something that involved dancing.
Questions composed by Ali Seys
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.