By Amanda Phillips
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The weather may have been what appealed to her initially, but Alyssa McClure knew coming to the University of Miami would help her achieve her ultimate goal.
"I was looking at sprints and this has been a powerhouse in the past," McClure said. "I have big dreams and goals and I wanted to pursue them further."
Coming to Miami did take some getting used to for the Baltimore, Md., native.
"The hardest part was training in the heat because I feel like I can't breathe," McClure said. "You have to get used to how to breathe down here. That was really important for my training."
Once the junior got used to the climate, she was off to the races. At the 2013 ACC Indoor Championships, McClure finished third in the women's 60m dash with a time of 7.36 seconds.
"I've been working really hard," McClure said. "But going towards the meet, my season was kind of staying around 7.4 in the 60m. It was a shock to me to do that in the finals. This one was a big personal record."
The sprinter doesn't only run the 60m. She also participates in the women's 200m, as well as the 4x100m and the 4x400m relays.
"They're all really sprints, so you have to get out in all of them," McClure said. "You just have to get out and run as fast as you can, as hard as you can, for as long as you can."
Getting through practices can be tough, admits McClure. But when you have support from teammates and coaches, you can make it.
"When one of us is tired, everyone is tired because we have mostly the same workouts," McClure said. "The coaches help us and give us confidence, but we're pumping each other up and trying to get each other through."
McClure has been running track since she was six years old and she wants to take it as far as she can.
"I have dreams of going to the Olympics," McClure said. "I want to work towards those, but I've been running track for 15 years, so I really want to go as far as I can."