CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The University of Miami track and field teams are hard at work preparing for their upcoming season. Each week, HurricaneSports.com will introduce you to members of the cross country and track and field programs.
In addition, be sure to follow UM Track & Field/ Cross Country on Twitter (@MiamiTrack) for the latest news on the squad.
Continuing on the "Going the Distance" series, find out about redshirt freshman hurdler Kelsey Balkwill...
Hometown: Windsor, Ont., Canada
High School: Essex
Why did you decide to attend the University of Miami?
I decided to attend the University of Miami because I knew it would prepare me for the future in track and in my education.
What was the best aspect of being part of Miami's track teams?
The best aspect of Miami track is the team, being as close as we are. It helps during hard workouts and in everyday life.
You have accomplished quite a bit while at Miami. What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment throughout your collegiate career?
My biggest accomplishment would have to school. I believe that I made the adjustment very well.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My family has been the biggest influence on my career. They have always supported me in my track endeavors. Also my coach, in Canada, has been a major contributing factor to my success on and off the track.
What are some of your goals for the season?
Some of my goals for the season are staying healthy, being in the NCAA final in the 400m hurdles and being All-America.
Have you ever played any other sports?
I played basketball throughout my high school years. I believe playing basketball gave me the drive to win that I use in track.
What do you feel was the biggest challenge you came across in since your arrival?
The biggest challenge I have came across is adjusting to the American school system. Things are a little bit different in Canada. Also, adjusting to the climate was difficult when I first arrived.
What is/are the biggest difference(s) between high school and competing at the collegiate level?
The biggest difference between high school and collegiate competitions is the performances at the competitions. With higher competition, you have to work that much harder at every meet.
What did you do, both individually and as a team, to prepare right before a meet?
To prepare I normally listen to music to get excited to race and I try to get a lot of sleep. As a team, I think it's more about support and getting your teammates excited with you.
What is your favorite workout?
My favorite workout would be any workout with hurdles. They are the most challenging for me so I love difficulty and the feeling of improvement when I finish.
What do you do away from running and studying to relax?
To relax, I like to hang out with family and friends, watch TV, and sleep.
Three words to describe you and why?
Three words to describe me would be determined, focused and driven. I am very passionate about track and field and I am always trying to learn and better myself.