Hey everyone! Alex here again.
This time I am writing about a less nerdy topic, and one that I could go on and on about! When students are involved with sports in high school and do not want to compete in Division I athletics (to focus on their classes, of course), UConn has tons of different options to continue the sporting life with Club Sports! With over 40 different clubs to choose from, it should be pretty easy to carry over the high school caliber of sports into your college career. As I was a three-season runner in high school, on my first day on the campus, I immediately joined the UConn Running Club (RunUC). UConn has a Division I athletics program, but I knew I didn’t want the commitment of a varsity team and would rather be involved with a less intense program that still allowed me to compete in races. Like all of the other club sports programs, we have regular practices throughout the semester (five days/week for about two hours) and a paid coach (Terrance!) who organizes workouts for the team.
During the semester we have about 40 students on the roster (mostly undergrads, but sometimes grad students too), where the majority of the runners wanting to compete in the various races we hold throughout the year. The races are always my favorite part of Club Sports since they always involve team bonding and an opportunity to travel. The best part is that the trips are usually funded by the UConn / team fund raising, so I rarely have to pay out of pocket! In the past years, we have traveled to Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana and Virginia; however, we just recently returned from a trip to Nationals in Charlotte, North Carolina which was a blast!
A group of about 20 of us traveled down in mini vans to Charlotte, leaving Thursday night and returning Sunday night. Even though the car trip was 27 hours round-trip, we all made it there and stayed in a hotel just outside of the city for two nights (along with all the other teams from across the country competing in this meet). The meet is hosted annually by different schools and it is always fun meeting all the other runners from other schools. Our teams had been training very hard for this year’s nationals meet, and we had a killer girls team that we were expected to do very well! Our men’s team this year was on the younger side compared to years past (my freshman year our men’s team placed 9th in Nationals at Michigan), but we were still expecting to do well. With over 500 people in this year’s men’s race and 300 in the women’s, it was very competitive field. It was all worth it though! Our teams ended up placing well, with one of our girls placing 8th overall!
The trip to Nationals with the Club Sport team is always my favorite even of the year, and I have SO many good memories of the trips. All of my roommates and many of my best friends are people that I met freshman year on the team, and we have stayed friends over the past three years. I do not regret for a second joining the Running Club, and it has probably been one of the best decisions I ever made since coming to UConn!