Kerschieter hopes to realize underdog potential

The Observer sat down with senior and women’s track and field captain, Bailey Kerschieter.
1. What are some of your goals as an entire team for this season?
“Our main goal is to focus on ourselves as a team and not worry about what other teams are doing. We want to reach our greatness, and if we do what we can to do that, then we will see good results!”
2. In your opinion, what is the difference between the indoor and outdoor track seasons?
“Indoor and outdoor are much different. Not only are there different events but there are also different goals as it gets later in the season. Indoor is more of a pre-season for most. It’s what whips us into the race shape we want to be in for our different events, and also it’s practice for all the techniques we need to get down for jumps,throws and hurdles.”
3. As a transfer what has been your biggest accomplishment as a Viking so far?
“As a transfer, I’d have to say my biggest accomplishment here was taking the small steps to get focused 100 percent in the sport. It’s crazy what small sacrifices can lead to. I’ve learned to do all the little things outside of practices that I never really put much effort into. I guess it’s something about being a senior and knowing it’s your last season. You just want to give it your all because this is it.”
4. Track wise, what sorts of personal goals do you hope to accomplish by the end of your season?
“Well, I’ve written out tons of goals but the big one would definitely be making it to nationals in the outdoor season!”
5. What race is toughest for you to run and why?
“Definitely the 400 if we’re talking about the most painful race. I’m a miler, so the 400 feels like death about 50 meters in because I’m already running top speed. It’s difficult to pace yourself in the 400 when you’re not training for it. So, for me I just start sprinting and hope for the best. I do love the 4×400 relay though.”
6. Describe a time where the team pushed through adversities to overcome a weakness.
“We haven’t had many meets this season yet, so it’s hard to say. However, if we ever run into a challenge or any let downs, we always come back with more hard work behind us and more determination. We try our best to risk, make a move or try a different technique that could challenge and make us better athletes.”
7. What is your favorite thing about being a part of the women’s track and field team?
“I love being a part of something that makes me feel happy and motivated. The team is like a family and a home away from home for me. My family lives in Tennessee, and sometimes it gets really rough when I don’t know if I’m doing something right or wrong. But I always know my team has my back. Going to practice is usually the highlight of my day because I get to do what I love for another day, and I get to see my best friends.”
8. If you could describe the team in one word or phrase, what would it be and why?
“Underdogs. I don’t think the other teams in our conference realize the great athletes we have on our team. We have a lot of up-and-coming freshmen that can do some damage out there on the track/field. We also have all of our returners and some already getting personal bests this early in the season. We have really worked harder than ever. Only time will tell.”
9. As a senior, describe your mentoring roll on the team.
“I’ve always been more on the quiet side. Maybe others don’t really think that though. It depends on the day I guess. My main thing is to try and lead by example. It always makes me feel good when I see other girls following my lead. It makes me feel like I’m doing something right. I also try and be as supportive as possible. This sport has so many ups and downs and everything in between, so when someone competes not up to their expectations, I try my best to be comforting and maybe tell them about one of my bad experiences and also a really good one that happened a week or two later. Everyone has bad days, whether it be by a couple seconds, a couple minutes, a couple inches,or a couple feet. That’s what’s so great about the sport though. You get to feel all these extreme feelings by just running, jumping or throwing.”
10. What would you say to those that think track and field is solely an individual based sport?
“I would ask them, ‘how do you think we get so good at competing? By ourselves?’ We have teammates and coaches that push us to be better every day. We do workouts together. For example, when a teammate makes a move in a race, we’re likely to follow right on their shoulder. Sure, we don’t have to completely rely on someone to pass a ball in the right spot, but sometimes one teammate’s success leads to our own success.