Michelle Last preparing to run the 800 metres at the USF Track and Field Invitational. March 13, 2015

Michelle Last’s balance between track and spirituality

How going to a Christian University has influenced Last both on and off the track

TAMPA, Fla., – Michelle Last has found balance between her spiritual life and her athletic endeavours as she transitioned from a public high school to a Christian university.

University of South Florida’s Track and Field Invitational was a homecoming for Last, who grew up in Sarasota, Florida and went to Lakewood Ranch High School.

The next chapter in the track athlete’s life would take place in South Carolina where she is currently enrolled at Southern Wesleyan University. The difference between the two schools was evident right away for the freshman.

“It was definitely really different because there were 500 kids in my graduating class and that’s about how many kids live on campus,” Last said after completing her 800m run. “But as far as the team aspect especially goes, it’s so great being around a team where our number one motivation is to run for a crowd of one and to witness through everything we do.

“Our coaches are inspirational in that way. As a team we have lots of Bible studies and stuff, and I feel like through that I’ve grown a lot spiritually and with my team more than I ever could have in high school.”

Last’s big ambitions for the future include doing the steeplechase, but for right now she has favourite events she likes to run.

“My preference is definitely the 800, I also like to do the 400,” said Last at the USF Track and Field Stadium. “Even in high school I would do the mile sometimes, but I don’t know if I’m going to do that in college.”

In regards to the events the freshman is currently participating in, there are specific milestones she is aiming to achieve as well.

“I would like to get under 2:20, I think I’m ready to do that,” said the track athlete. “(Also) to get geared up for nationals and try to be an All-American.

Our school is transitioning into the NCAA, so for these first two years getting ready for that. And once we get into the NCAA, just see what I can do there.”

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