The life of a student athlete

Samuel Damiani de Barros

Lauren McCluskey loves being a student athlete at the University of Utah. McCluskey has being doing Track and Field since she was 8 years old. She has faced many challenges until she was recruited to do Track and Field for the U, such as injuries, but never got discouraged. McCluskey is always trying to improve herself.

Track and Field involves running, jumping for height and distance, and throwing for distance. “When I was 9 years old I started competing nationally,” said McCluskey. She has received many awards and she was a state champion during her freshman year in high school. “I got injured in high school and that was a challenge for me,” said McCluskey. Her mom has been her biggest support during the difficult times. She said that her mom would take her to different parts of the country to help her gain more experience. Even though she did not always win, her mom was always very optimistic about her potential.

The University of Utah is known for having a very prestigious sports program. Many high school kids from Utah and other states compete to be recruited and receive scholarships here. McCluskey’s success during high school got the attention of many schools. The U and five other schools contacted McCluskey in order to recruit her. She visited them all, but “when I visited the U I was very impressed with the facilities that they had and the coaches, I really liked the environment here,” said McCluskey. She also mentioned that she felt that the U had a good program for her major: strategic communication. She knew that coming to the Utah would be the right decision to make. McCluskey is from Washington State and Utah has become home for her.

Adjusting to being a student athlete in college was very hard for McCluskey. “The training is very intense and a lot harder than high school,” said McCluskey. She also thinks that college is a lot more competitive than high school. “I was very stressed out my first year here,” said McCluskey. At the same time she loves the university and the classes here. She has made many friends since she came to Utah. She is on her second year at the U, and her goal now is to relax more and enjoy more her experience. When I asked her about the hardest thing about living in Utah McCluskey was quick to respond, “I miss my family, but overall it’s a good experience.

McCluskey has many goals in her life. ‘’My biggest goal is to always improve myself, said McCluskey. Even though she is always busy with her classes, she always finds some extra time to go practice by herself. Her practice often lasts three hours and she mainly focuses on doing specific workouts that will help her prepare her body for future competitions. She believes that you can achieve anything in life if you work hard. Even though she has been very focused on her athlete life since she was 8, she has more goals for her life after graduating. “I want to find a career that I am passionate about, I also want to travel to new places,” said McCluskey. She has not been outside the United Stated and looks forward into that. She is not very sure about her career after graduating, but she has some interest on working with public relations. Despite the challenges of living away from her family, McCluskey is a true example of a person who works very hard to achieve her goals in life.