Everyday Champion: Ashley Younce
Everyday Champions is a program that recognizes the complete student-athlete the student-athlete that makes a difference and makes an impact not only on the field of competition but in the classroom and in the community.
The Everyday Champion exemplifies the characteristics of STAR:
In an attempt to recognize those student-athletes that go above and beyond the call of duty,
Ashley Younce (
What has the experience been like for you so far running at a Division I school that just restarted its program?
“The experience has been amazing for so many reasons. It has been greater than I ever expected. With a coach like Kelly, the teammates that I have the opportunity to spend time with daily, the great support here at
What does it mean to you to hold school records and to be the No. 1 runner on the team?
“Well I never thought that I would actually be able to tap into the top ten lists here at OSU, so that is definitely cool. It is also nice to be running some pr's and help contribute to my team because coming into this I never thought I would even make it into the top seven. But really the times and placements on the team mean nothing to me compared to the experience I am having and the whole team atmosphere that I love. There is such great support among one another, and it is just great to see people through all of their emotions daily at practice, races, etc. I know that when I look back on this I will probably be proud, but right now I am just having fun and not thinking about all of the objective things.”
You didn't come to
“Well I came here because I actually wanted a change from running, as funny as that sounds. I had decided to not run in college at the end of my senior year because I needed a break and OSU was kind of in my family, my mom and sister both went here. I loved the campus, the proximity to my home, the programs and I was interested in joining a sorority and knew OSU had a good greek system. My two best friends also decided to come here, too, and we all roomed together freshman year, which made the transition to college much smoother!”
What influenced you to join the program?
“A few things. I took a running PAC class spring term of my sophomore year here, and a couple of my friends in the class who I also went to high school with told me we were getting a program the following year and that they had talked to the coach a bit and tried on uniforms. I guess I got a little jealous, and the running class really brought back a bit of my competitive edge. I began to miss the races and figured I'm still running on my own, so this would be a great opportunity that I could at least try. So they told me I should email the coach and apparently he'd seen be running that day and had left a message for himself to find out who I was, so I guess it was just faith. Also, this had always been in the back of my mind because before I left for college my high school coach just said, I hear OSU should be getting a team in a couple of years and it'd be great to see you give it a shot if you're up to it.’ So I guess you could say I took those words to heart and never let them go.”
What do you hope to accomplish this year individually? As a team?
“I don't have too many specific goals right now as I usually like to just see what happens after I put the hard work in. But I do just look forward to improving throughout the year both individually and as a team. It is always nice to set pr's, but that can not always be realistic with the variations in courses. I think our team is ready to make a breakthrough at Pac-10's if we can just all be healthy and believe in ourselves. Our team has a great opportunity with no pressure to show the rest of the Pac-10, the hard work that we have put in. I'd just like to make a positive name for ourselves and make spectators say, Look at those Beavers!’"
What is your favorite
“Well I think that is way too broad of a question to ask me since I pretty much love everything here and am involved in so many different things. I could tell you a memory of my sorority and the great friendships I have made, or some of the successes that I have reached that meant a lot to me, but I'll give you one example from running. I would have to say that when I look back on my college career, I will never forget the first season of cross country that I competed in at
What is your favorite part about running?
“I would have to say I have a lot of favorite things that I like about running. To name a few, running is my relaxation, it's my time away when things get too hectic and it just puts me in the best mood. I also love the fact that you can do it anywhere. You don't need special equipment or people to play against; you can run pretty much anywhere and it definitely helps you to explore new places. My two favorite things about running are the quality fun times I get to spend with my teammates/friends/family when we are running together and the feeling you get pretty much after any run, especially races and hard workouts. It's just a sense of accomplishment that can really never be described until you experience it.”
Running isn't your no. 1 priority, since you're in a sorority and also excel in the classroom. How do you manage everything you do?
“Well I guess you could say that I really like to stay pretty busy; I can get bored really easily. I just love having a balanced life and different alternatives to turn to when I get too sick of one thing. Running has given me a chance to meet new people, set personal records, and so much more. But I also have had the most amazing experiences within my sorority and with the members of it. My sorority gives me a chance to get my mind off of running, which is how I run best - when I don't think about it too much, and I guess you could say I am kind of a nerd. I am one of those people that have to study hard to do well, so I guess it's just been instilled in me from an early age to always work my hardest and whatever comes from that is deserved and should be looked at in a positive manner. My mom is a teacher and has always taught me it is important to work hard in whatever you do, but also be well rounded at the same time.”
What do you hope to do post-college?
“Well once I graduate, I would like to study abroad in
This is your senior season, despite only being a junior in eligibility. What will you miss most about
“I will miss so much. To name a few things, I will truly miss the atmosphere here at