Freshmen Move to the Fast Lane

by Marvin Davis
Delta Digital News Service

JONESBORO – Arkansas State University freshmen track and field runners are adapting to the new lifestyle as a college athlete on and off the track.

With a new practice routine and school schedule, the freshmen look to take on the challenge.

Courtney Thomas, a jumper and hurdler originally from Memphis, attended Central High School in Little Rock. Like other freshmen, he’s adjusting to college life.

“Coming from high school to college academics is different because in high school you work to pass a standard state test at the end of the year,” Thomas said. “In college, it is more about the professors giving you information they feel will help you in the real world.”

Thomas will compete in the 400-meter relay, long jump and triple jump.

“The tools that were taught in high school have carried over to college because school and track is about grinding, staying humble and taking care of your body,” Thomas said.

Steffan Mallory hails from Daytona Beach, Florida, where he attended Mainland High School.

“You get more of a workload in college on a regular basis, where in high school you probably had homework two times a week,” Mallory said.

Mallory will compete in the 200-meter, 400-meter and long jump.

“The responsibilities have also changed,” Mallory said. “College athletics is like a job and high school was more for fun. Being on the team comes with benefits like helping you stay on top of your work.”

Daidren Davis attended Bartram Trail High School in St. John’s, Florida. He said classes are easy to manage.

“I didn’t really plan out my time in high school. I didn’t take structured notes or use a planner, and I still don’t,” Davis said. “Track is different. The work is harder so I have to pay attention to my body. I have to manage my eating schedule since my classes get out at different times.”

Davis will run in the 110-meter hurdles and the 400-meter hurdles.

“The track team is friendly and you get a sense of self-satisfaction from being on the team,” Davis said.

The freshmen will continue to work on and off the track as they get ready for their first collegiate track meet.