Over the summer, MileSplit profiled several highly recruited cross country and track and field athletes about how they adjusted to college life and what advice they might give to incoming freshmen this year. This fall, we take a closer-up look at the adjustment period for current freshmen who have just a few weeks of university life under their belts.
First up is University of Portland freshman Camila Noe, a talented freshman from Bozeman, Montana, who produced an impressive career in the Northwest, though broke out last nationally spring by taking runner-up honors at the Brooks PR two-mile in an eye-popping time of 9:54.95, which was the seventh-fastest mark ever recorded by a high school girl. She also helped Bozeman High School to three consecutive appearances at Nike Cross Nationals and captured two Montana state titles in cross country and the 3200m as a senior.
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How long have you been at school?
About four weeks.
How did you decide on attending Portland?
I decided on Portland for the team aspect of it. I really liked the girls and I liked the location, too. The school is really good, especially for nursing, which is the major I'm going into.
Are you redshirting or will you compete this season?
I think I am going to compete. I'm dealing with an injury right now, but I think I'm still competing later on this season, just not right now. It's a hip femoral injury, my left thigh. It's stress-related. Two weeks into school, I started to feel it.
I'm doing cross-training right now until I can get back to running on the ground again. I'm just aqua-jogging but once it gets better, I'm thinking of going to the anti-gravity treadmill we have here. I just recently started doing this, so I've been [aqua-jogging] for about an hour at a time.
When you were practicing with the team, what were some of the differences you noticed compared to high school practice?
[Practice is] definitely earlier in the day just because classes are different so you don't just have all your classes at once then practice. It's easier to do it then because you're not as tired. Practices were similar [to high school]. I got to practice with most of the team and have a set schedule and do some strength work afterward.
I think practice is actually a bit easier because I'm running with a group of girls instead of a group of guys, and I'm not taking it as hard. I've been more serious about my recovery days. It's been a bit easier, if anything. In high school, easy days would be around 7:00 flat or 6:55 pace.
What has been the biggest adjustment in terms of training and in terms of campus/social life?
I'd say time management because it is a different schedule and you're not in school for most of the day so you have to plan out study time and practice time. Living with someone in a small space is really different. Luckily, I have a really great roommate so it's not bad, it's just different. She's from Montana, too, and her name is Ellee Becker.
What was your most embarrassing "freshman" moment?
Tripping down the stairs my first weekend in the dorm. Or, spilling oatmeal because I was gonna make granola and I spilt it all over lobby floor. I was going downstairs to the kitchen and I dropped a whole container of Quaker Oats and it went everywhere; there were a lot of people in the main lobby, so it was kind of embarrassing.
"I think practice is actually a bit easier because I'm running with a group of girls instead of a group of guys, and I'm not taking it as hard. I've been more serious about my recovery days. It's been a bit easier, if anything."
What do you think of dining hall food?
It's really nice, they have a lot of great options here. A lot of healthy foods.
What's your favorite place to run?
Forest Park is definitely a really cool place to run, so many trails and it's really beautiful.
What do you think of your classes so far?
I really like [my classes]. I really like my teachers. I'm kind of liking Latin American History right now because I think it's a really interesting subject, probably my favorite to learn about.
What's the hardest workout you did before your injury?
We did have a pretty hard sustained fartlek, 50 minutes long. In high school, I didn't do fartleks that were that long. It was a good workout.
What are your goals for this year?
I'm not really sure yet. Definitely to improve my times or just get used to college running and being there for my team this year. Being focused on improving in everything I do.
Do you consider yourself more of a track or cross country runner?
I definitely love cross country more. I love the courses and track's all the same but it's still really fun. I just think cross country is cooler.
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Stay tuned for more college transition stories on MileSplit. If you would like to tell us your story, let us know by emailing Cory Mull at firstname.lastname@example.org