Sports, Women's Sports, Women's Track & Field

Women’s track and field team receives 26th consecutive All-Academic Honor

Internal motivation and sacrifices, two big factors that contribute to Long Beach State women’s track and field team being awarded its 26th consecutive All-Academic Honor.

LBSU senior Ryley Fick understands that having track and field be a big part of her life has come with making sacrifices such as not having a social life.

“Practice is my social life now honestly and traveling with the team and staying in hotels,” Fick said. “Stuff like that is part of a social life because you’re with your team all the time.”

The friendships Fick has been able to create make her have no regrets.

“I think it’s worth it. Everyone does get along well, we have a good culture and we like spending time with each other,” Fick said.

Fick and her teammate, senior Anitha Graves, see the accomplishment as a reward to their hard work and as motivation for the rest of the season.

“It’s really exciting and very motivating because it’s definitely still very early in the season and it feels that there’s a lot more to come,” Graves said.

“It feels really good to know that I got all of the hard work that I put in over the course of the five years that I’ve been here paying off and being able to start accomplishing things that I set my mind to,” Fick said.

Maintaining a balance in academics, athletics and personal life isn’t something that is done easily, but these athletes find a way to do just that.

“Definitely a lot of time management, we have a lot of resources here that help us such as the BAC (Bickerstaff Academic Center) and all our academic advisors are helpful,” Graves said.

Graves coming from a background that stressed a lot with achievements academically and athletically. Along with the team that’s always been an all-academic team, it contributed to her motivation.

“It comes back to internal motivation and having those goals in mind that you want to achieve both academically and athletically,” Graves said.

LBSU women’s track and field coach Shawn Winget coached the team during seven out of the 26 All-Academic Honors. Winget and his staff acknowledge the girls are student athletes and want the girls to do well academically.

Winget doesn’t feel that students being required to have a 3.0 grade point average to achieve the honor is too much to ask, saying that being focused has to be part of a players nature in order to ensure these types of accomplishments in the future.

“A lot of that has to be intrinsic, they’ve gotta have that drive within because I can’t push them everyday,” Winget said.

While it’s still early in the season, the team has a clear idea of the goals they want to keep pushing towards.

“We’d like to win the indoor conference, Big West conference outdoor and at least get two or three girls to the NCAA All-Star championship,” Winget said.

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