The Paw Print
Success is defined in many different ways and in many different degrees. For a runner there is success in races and success at the national level. In cross-country, success is demonstrated as a team effort to win the title together. In Track and field, success is defined as what can you do for yourself and for the team. Senior athlete Alicia Nelson says, “Success is achieved when you accomplish what you set out to do.”
She has definitely demonstrated success as she holds the 2009 National Cross Country team title, 2010-Outdoor 3k steeplechase individual (10 minutes 11 seconds and 48 milliseconds,) and the 2012-Cross Country individual (20 minutes 03 seconds and 3 milliseconds.) She also attended the USA Track and field Championships located in Des Moines, IA in 2010. For the USA Championship prelims, she raced the 3K steeplechase with a time of 10 minutes 18 seconds and 37 milliseconds and for the finals 10 minutes 22 seconds and 64 milliseconds. In 2013, she won the indoor 3k individual: 9 minutes 32 seconds and 45 milliseconds, outdoor 3k steeplechase individual: 10 minutes 03 seconds and 70 milliseconds, and outdoor 5k individual:16 minutes 28 seconds and 74 milliseconds.
Alicia Nelson began running in the sixth grade when her grandmother insisted she join the middle school Cross country and track team because she was already running with some of the boys. Ever since middle school, Nelson has loved running and wanted to continue. Her basketball high school coach suggested Adams State. When she did come to look at the school, she was introduced to Coach Damon Martin, coach of the Cross country and Track and field team, and the women who were running for the school at the time. “ It just felt right knowing Adams was where I wanted to be,” Alicia said. Coming to Adams State University was an easy choice for her.
Training has been a difficult process every day. Every week Nelson averages between 80-90 miles. Training is different depending on the season. During cross-country season, the women’s team runs together persevering towards the same goal. They run toward making the Nationals as a team. However in Track and field, each teammate must qualify in their event to contribute to the team. Each athlete has her individual special talent when it comes to running, whether it is long or short distance. For Nelson, that talent shows through long distance. “ There is an assumption that everything falls their [athletes] way. That’s not true, Alicia is talented and continues to put in hard work whether it is in school or running.” Coach Martin said.
Nelson says, “What motivates me to keep running depends on every day. On each given day, that motivation changes. I run for my team, school, and coach. I run for my family. I run for all of the people who have helped me to accomplish what I have and become who I am thus far. There are so many reasons outside of myself that make it worth while everyday.” To keep the motivation Coach Martin shares the quote, “ If you can fill the unforgiving minute, With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And –which is more-you’ll be a Man, my son” written by Rudyard Kipling. Coach Martin said, “Everyone knows 60 seconds is a min, but that is 60 seconds you won’t get back. Each 60 seconds counts so much with every race, because you will never get to experience this same race ever again.”
The NCAA only allows student athletes to run competitively with the team for four years. Alicia Nelson only has one semester left for Track and field before graduating in the Spring of 2014. She hopes to find a sponsor after she graduates to continue running.
The key to having a great running career is to live a positive lifestyle. There will be good and bad days when it comes to running and it’s up to the person to learn from each day to make the next day better. Along with being positive, becoming disciplined and to be tough are also very crucial. Nelson expressed, “Definitely set goals, they will not only help you with running but also with your life.”
The majority of people want to be better than what they are, or what they are capable of. “By allowing all of the motivations and challenges we go through, pushes me forward,” she said.