December 17, 2012
A second-year member of the Women’s Cross Country team, Nicole is a chemical engineering major at the University of Delaware.
Nicole is from Aston, PA (Cardinal O’ Hara High School). She has also earned one letter as well as the Outstanding Rookie Award last season.
In 2011, Nicole competed in all eight events for Delaware. She also recorded a top-10 finish at the Delaware Invitational. Also, she was the Hens top finisher at the Paul Short invitational, and earned a fifth-place finish at the Blue & Gold Invitational.
1) What were your individual goals coming into this season?
Coming into this season, my main goal was to just improve from last season. Running is often a race against yourself as you continually try to beat your fastest times while simultaneously beating your opponents. Specifically, I hoped to break 23 minutes for my 6K and eventually then break 22 minutes; I achieved the first one so far and I am hoping to reach the next milestone soon as well! Also, I am still hoping for our team to improve in the conference this year and I am really excited to see how much we have improved since last season.
3) What made you want to attend and run Cross Country here at Delaware?
What first led me to Delaware was its renowned chemical engineering program. Once I knew that the schooling would be excellent, I then looked at campus and immediately loved it! I love our campus here so much, and it never ceases to be beautiful to me. Plus, having Main Street right around the corner is convenient and fun! Once I decided to attend Delaware, I started looking into cross country because I had just come off my first season of outdoor track in high school and had so much fun. I knew that I liked running longer distances so I figured cross-country would probably be enjoyable for me so I went for it!
4) What is your major, and why did you choose it?
I am a chemical engineering major here at Delaware. I started thinking about engineering for a while before college since my dad is a mechanical engineer and instilled in me a love for math at a very young age. Basically, I really enjoy math and science, especially chemistry and physics, so chemical engineering seemed like the natural choice for me.
5) If you didn't run cross-country, is there any other sport you would wish to play?
As a matter of fact, at some of the other schools I was looking at, I would have played basketball and/or soccer there. Growing up and throughout high school, I always played soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter and then AAU travel basketball in the spring/summer. It wasn't until my senior year of high school, when I was too old to play AAU anymore, that I decided to do outdoor track. I had to always run to stay in shape for my other sports and knew that I enjoyed it so I decided to give it a go. However, I definitely didn't think I would be doing it in college; as far as sports go, basketball was my first love and will always be a part of me. If I weren’t running, I would hopefully be playing basketball or even soccer. I don't think I could make it without doing any sports because I love them all!
6) Do you prefer indoor/outdoor track and field to cross-country, or do you enjoy them all equally?
That's a tough question, especially since I'm so new to all of them, primarily cross country and indoor track. However, I'd have to say that cross-country is my favorite season followed closely by outdoor track. I just love to run so it's a difficult choice to make for sure. I like the extreme long distances (5K and 10K in outdoor track), though, and cross-country isn't as monotonous as a track. I like not knowing exactly how far I've run at every point in a cross country race (compared to counting laps on the track) because I feel like it's a little easier mentally not knowing exactly how far it is that I have left until the finish line. Also, cross country starts in my favorite season: summer! I am one of the few people who like running and racing in the heat so that probably adds to my love of the sport.
7) What has been your favorite class here at Delaware?
My favorite class here at Delaware so far would probably have to be my Honors Chemistry class that I had last fall and spring semester. Just because I enjoyed it does not at all mean it was easy because it was the opposite of that; it was hard! However, I had a great teacher, Professor Groh, who made the class enjoyable and helped me to learn a lot of Chemistry as well.
8) What are your plans after college?
I don't have any distinct plans for after college just yet. Graduate school is an option, unless I find a job that I like with an engineering company. My ultimate goal would probably be to get a job at DuPont, where my dad works as a practicing mechanical engineer.
9) What do you enjoy to do most when you’re not competing?
When not competing, I love to play other sports, especially basketball. I grew up playing this sport and will always love it. I also really enjoy reading; it's definitely one of the most relaxing things for me to do: sit outside on a nice day and enjoy a good book. Another hobby of mine is baking, and I like experimenting with all kinds of sweet treats. The best, though, is spending time with my family. It's great when they're there to see me compete and even greater when I get to go home with them afterwards and just hang out.
10) What is your most memorable moment here at UD?
So many things have happened to me since I've been here at UD so it's hard to think of just one. However, I think one of my most memorable moments happened last year on the track at conferences. I ran the 10K for my first time ever at our conference meet and had never raced such a long race before and was beyond nervous. With the help from all my cheering teammates, though, I managed to finish fifth, score for our team, and qualify for the ECAC meet. I had exceeded my own expectations and was beyond thrilled. What made it even better was the fact that my teammates stayed for the whole race (which is long for a 10K), cheered me on during it, and were right there to congratulate me after it was over. I don't think I'll ever forget it, and I'm so glad that I'm still here to have most of my teammates still with me!
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