Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Five Minutes With ...

Throughout the 2010-11 academic year, the North Coast Athletic Conference will give you an in-depth look into the lives of the student-athletes, administrators and faculty members of the conference who epitomize what it means to compete, study and educate at the NCAA Div. III level. We hope that this feature will help people gain a better understanding of why individuals have decided to make NCAA Div. III a cornerstone of their life.


Name: Kate Melanson

Hometown/High School: Jupiter FL/Suncoast Community High School

Institution: Oberlin College

Major (s): Biology, Rhetoric and Composition

Sport: Swimming

* Why did you choose to attend an NCAA Division III institution?

KM: Well I really enjoyed swimming and wanted to continue in college. But, I didn’t want it to be really hardcore with a focus on just getting faster. I visited Oberlin and there was instantly this team vibe that I never had in high school or on club teams.

* If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be and why?

KM: Tina Fey. I love 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live and basically anything she has ever done. She’s not only hilarious, but is one of the leading women in entertainment and it would be so fun to be her.

* How would you most accurately describe or define the ideals on which the NCAA Div. III was founded?

KM: I would have to say it was founded on the idea of a balance between academics and athletics. NCAA DIII student-athletes are exactly that, students then athletes. DIII schools preserve amateurism in sports by having athletes who participate because they enjoy the sports, not because they’re paid or get scholarships, but for pure pleasure.

* People may be surprised to know that ……

KM: My full name is Kate, not Caitlin or Katherine. Just Kate.

* How has your experience been in balancing athletics and academics at your institution?

KM: It has been great. Swimming has provided a break and a way to let out steam so that stress doesn’t overwhelm me. If anything, athletics is the reason I feel well balanced.

* If you are stranded on an island, you would like to be with ……

KM: My puppy Sookie. I feel like I’d snap at someone else and then we wouldn’t talk, and then it’d just be an island of awkwardness. My dog will love me unconditionally.

* What is the life of a student-athlete studying biology like at Oberlin College?

KM: Life is pretty hectic studying biology and competing in Sports. Many times you have to leave your afternoon lab and go straight to practice, then back to the lab again after to finish things off. There’s no time to rest, but you learn very good time management.

* Do you have any hidden talents that very few people know about?

KM: My eye can tell the weather. My right eye puffs up when there is a high-pressure system. People usually think I got punched and I just say, “No, it’s just about to rain.”

* What aspect of being a student-athlete at the Div. III level, do you hope to take with you into your professional life?

KM: I hope to take my time management skills with me into my professional life. In order to get school work and athletics done, you have to manage time or fall behind and being a student-athlete has taught that very valuable lesson.

* What has been your most memorable moment in athletics during your collegiate career?

KM: My most memorable moment would probably have to be during my sophomore year at our conference championship. I had just earned my spot on the 800-freestyle relay and was very excited about swimming it. I was about to go up to the block with my teammates and my coach said, “There are 20 girls on that bench depending on you.” It freaked me out! But I went up to the blocks with my relay-mates, one from each class year, and I swam my heart out feeling like the whole team was swimming it with me. We broke the school record, got an NCAA B-cut and came in third for an All-Conference finish. It was really awesome.

* What would you like to accomplish, both in academics and athletics, before you graduate?

KM: In academics, I would like to participate in some important research in ecology and really find my niche. In athletics, I’d like to achieve my own national cut individually, A or B, just knowing that I could do it would be great.

* What’s currently playing on your I-Pod?

KM: Fame by David Bowie.

* Do you have one coach and or professor in mind that has impacted your career the most at Oberlin?

KM: My advisor Mary Garvin has been pretty great. She’s always insisted on doing what makes me happy, both in terms of athletics and academics, and I think that the most important thing that there is for anyone is to find something that makes them happy.

* What is your most prized possession?

KM: My friends, a.k.a. my teammates.

* What is the most important life lesson you learned while competing at the NCAA Div. III level?

KM: Do something you enjoy, not just something you’re good at.

* How many hours a week do you spend on Facebook?

KM: An unhealthy amount. Probably at least 7-10, but for some people it’s the only way I can keep in touch with them and see what they’re up to.

* What would be your advice for someone that is considering enrolling as a student-athlete at a NCAA Div. III institution?

KM: DO IT!!!

* How would you best describe your normal day as a student-athlete at the NCAA Div. III level?

KM: Crazy, just how I like it.

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