Performing on the track and running trails is one thing. Performing in UNCG's Symphony Orchestra is something else completely.
Junior Ashley Schnell has run since she was 7 or 8. But she picked up the violin when she was half that age, and music will be her passion long after her track career has ended.
After she graduates, she plans to get her master's in performance. And aspires to be a part of a symphony group or start her own chamber group.
I have a 4.0. Grades are important to me. They'll help me in getting scholarships for graduate school.
She has earned induction into Golden Chain, Golden Key and Sigma Alpha Lambda.
Time management is key. It's hard to partition time for classes and running, she says, plus other things you want to do. But I've been doing it since high school.
She explains, for example, that she had music classes in the fall from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with some breaks. I'll practice and get homework done during those breaks, instead of relaxing. She doesn't want to have to stay up late, she said. And by attacking the school work in the early part of the weekend, Sunday is not stressful.
She attended Coe College her first two years, before moving to UNCG, with its Div. I track program and noted music program. She had excelled at track there, going to Nationals both years.
In her first semester at UNCG, she competed hard and took top honors at the SoCon Cross Country Championships, helping lead her team to a third-place finish. She was named SoCon Runner of the Year. Next, at NCAA regionals, she placed 14th in the 6K, a hair away from advancing to Nationals.
The girl right in front of me advanced, Ashley says.
But she has this semester's seasons in Indoor and Outdoor, as well as next year, to look forward to.
I'm looking to improve times and hoping to qualify for Nationals, in Indoor and Outdoor.
Yoga can be really cool. Unless you make it pretty hot.
Hot yoga has been a buzz word in Athletics this past year.
It helps with balance and concentration and flexibility, says Baseball Coach Mike Gaski, whose entire pitching staff did it last year. There's a lot of one-legged stuff when you do hot yoga, he notes, which complements what they have to do on the mound with every pitch. But perhaps the best thing: to break through new thresholds.
With yoga, people often reach toes or hit a milestone, and they stop there, he explains. Hot yoga encourages the pushing of those perceived boundaries, physically and psychologically.
It's done at 105 degrees, for 90 minutes, at a local facility.
What's the pitchers' response? The first session is unacceptable. The second session is bearable. The third? They make strides.
Some of the pitchers have continued with it, even though the team only did it as a preseason activity last season.
And men's basketball, as part of their preseason regimen, did some hot yoga as well.
Gaski's interest in yoga and martial arts began when he served in the Peace Corps and then taught at a university in Southeast Asia in the early 1980s.
Being proactive in preventing injuries, enhancing balance, exercising all parts of the body, perhaps releasing toxins these are things that can give you an edge. And it's psychological as much as physical. A season, Gaski points out, is about more than fastballs, curveballs and groundballs.
Most of the pitching staff did hot yoga again this year as part of their preseason regimen.
He says the pitching will be better, with more depth. And due to a new NCAA rule about bats they'll have less of a trampoline effect there'll be fewer home runs. Fans will see more small ball. Steals, bunts, singles and strategy will come into play more.
This small ball was exemplified by their winning strategy in the second game of the season, against Delaware. Down by one in the final inning, a single through the right side put a runner on first. A sacrifice bunt got the potential tying run to second. Next a walk. And those two runners ended up scoring.
The victory was the 600th in the Spartans' 21 season history. And the 600th for Gaski, the team's founding coach.
A golfer might occasionally have to deal with the glare of the sun. When Robert Hoadley found himself one of 12 semifinalists for the prestigious, national Sullivan Award, the spotlight was almost as bright.
His name on the ballot in USA Today.
Calls and visits from reporters.
Interviews on sports talk shows. On The David Glenn Show, the talk turned from the award, given annually by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) to the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States, to his volunteering with The First Tee program. It brings the game of golf and the positive values and lessons it can teach to children of all backgrounds. He went through the program as a kid, and became a mentor. It definitely makes a difference in those kids' lives, he said.
A Dean's List and Chancellor's List student, the sophomore won the Pinehurst Intercollegiate a year ago and was named All-Conference.
He ultimately didn't win the Sullivan Award. But graciously congratulating the winner and moving ahead is a lesson you learn in The First Tee.
The wrestling program, part of Spartan Athletics since 1993, is being eliminated.
Kim Record, director of athletics, met with the team's coaches and student-athletes on March 14 to inform them of the decision.
The university's Strategic Plan has a goal of increasing the competitiveness, accessibility and visibility of its intercollegiate athletics program, she said, adding that Athletics has considered many strategies to accomplish that goal. It pains us as a department that things have come to this point, but in today's economic climate, tough decisions like this are having to be made around the nation.
The elimination of the wrestling program will result in a cost savings of approximately $308,000 annually.
Additionally, the 2010-11 state budget repealed eligibility for out-of-state students on full athletic scholarships to be classified as in-state for tuition purposes. For UNCG, this resulted in a loss of $750,000 in student-athlete scholarship funds. UNCG will honor current scholarships for student-athletes who want to remain here.
The team's final season was a memorable one, with a school record four wrestlers achieving All-Conference honors.