Vincentian track athlete- Tamara Woodley has had an outstanding Spring Semester at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), both on and off the track.
First she was named to the Dean’s List and was, over the last week or so, named Most Outstanding Women’s Freshman, Most Outstanding Women’s Track Performer and UTRGV Athlete of the Week.
And all of her accomplishment she has put down to being the result of “hard work,” in the classroom and on the track.
“This semester was the most challenging,” Woodley said recently.
She spoke of having to adapt to a track and field season in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which athletes had to continually undergo testing, regardless of the status of previous tests.
“You didn’t even have to test positive but the simple fact of being around someone who tested positive you could practically miss an entire season,” she explained, “I had to be extra careful and careful of where I go and what I was doing,” she added.
The travel and the ongoing training also put up an additional challenge as it related to her course work.
“Many times after practice, I had to email my assignments to the professors. Thankfully they were understanding. I got through my courses and it paid off. I did well,” she shared.
Speaking of her recent double gold (200m and 400m) at the closing out meet of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) two Saturdays ago, Woodley disclosed that it was when she got to the UTRGV that her coach recognized her potential and encouraged her to add the 200m to her already established 400m.
“So when I saw what I did in the 200m at the WAC, first in the Heats and then the Final, I was ecstatic especially that I was more concerned about and focused on running a personal best 400m,” she admitted.
And as for how she approaches her competitive races, Woodley said, “I always go and focus on myself. It’s just me versus the clock… that’s how I think about it, me competing against myself to break my barrier and surpass all of my expectations and prove to myself what I am capable of.”
The Semester has meant a lot to her and she recognizes that she has been surrounded by people who push her and want the best for her.
She also recognizes the support she receives “from back home.”