Hernandez running on the 1500m at the USF Campus

Hernandez still finding his rhythm in college

Young athlete is still adapting to new training

TAMPA, Fla – The transition between high school cross-country and college track has been very difficult for Emily Hernandez.

Considering the seriousness of college sports in the United States, the preparation and training for one of these events is very strict and hard.

Hernandez has been developing herself in cross-country since middle school, and is now in her freshman year in NOVA Southeastern University so she expects better results.

“I started cross-country in seventh grade and I did it till now, I’ve been training. I’m not running as good as I should now, because I’m not used to the college training, but little by little I’m getting in shape.” said Hernandez in the USF Campus in Tampa on Friday.

The dynamic of being a college athlete is similar to being a professional. Sometimes the transition is not as easy as some freshmen think, especially if they’re not used to that kind of pressure.

“We run more mileage and we do more weights. I’m really skinny and I never did weights in high school, our easy runs were like 10 minute pace, in here our pace it’s eight minutes which is more tiring.” said the athlete. “Our freshman year is the trouble year for athletes, because they’re getting used to the training.”

Makes a lot of sense that some athletes suffer from adaptation issues in their first year entering college, especially if these athletes come from different styles of training.

“It’s tough, we have to wake up at 5:40, be at practice before which is 6:20, to run at 6:30, then we have to lift weights at 4:00pm,” said the Miami native. “And if we’re not there we get in trouble with the coach and he makes the whole team do push-ups and stuff like that, so we have to be on time because if not we’re in trouble.”

For the former undergrad from John Ferguson High School in Kendall, Florida, this is a process that she eventually will overcome.

“I want to improve, I want to do better that what I did in high school back then I was really good, so I want to be better than that,” said Hernandez. “Yeah, I’m adapting, once I adapt myself, I’ll be back into shape.”

Hernandez, an aspiring Pediatric Nurse, had very low expectations about her performance for this meeting, but she keeps testing herself in this type of events.

She ran the 1500m with the first group of two and finished in 12th position. The eventual winner of the competition was Kelli Williams from USF.

“This was my first race, I didn’t ran as good, cause in middle school I ran so much better than this, I’m a little disappointed but I’m going to be in shape next time.” said the NOVA Southeastern athlete.

Follow Nelson Perez Esis @elnelsonperez