Friday, January 28, 2011

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: Caileigh Hughes

Hometown/High School: Newark, OH/Newark Catholic

Institution: Allegheny College

Major: History

Sport: Track and Field

Why did you choose to attend a NCAA Division III institution?

CH: I wanted to take a gradual step between high school and graduate school. My high school graduating class only had 65 people and the thought of going to a big school was a little daunting. I also wanted a college where I could be academically challenged and continue my athletic endeavors. Division III just seemed to fit, because Division III colleges/universities understand that while sports are important, academics come first.

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

CH: My Great-Great Grandmother before she passed away. She was born in 1900 and passed away in 1994. Throughout her lifetime she saw so many things. The sinking of the Titanic, two World Wars, the invention of cars, planes, refrigerators, television, a man on the moon, Jessie Owens winning a Gold Medal in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, The Civil Rights Movement and the falling of the Berlin Wall to name a few. To be able to witness everything that she did, is amazing to me. She truly lived history.

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

CH: Commitment, Tradition and Excellence. They are committed to their athletes, there is a rich tradition in NCAA Div. III athletics and they always strive to be better.

People may be surprised to know that ……

CH: I am a history major, but I am planning on going to nursing school.

How has your experience been in balancing athletics and academics at your Allegheny College?

CH: It is not as hard as some people may lead you to believe. The trick is to be proactive. I have found it helpful to introduce myself to every professor after our first class, let them know what team I’m on, and hand them our game/meet schedule with departure times listed on it. Then I highlight the days I will either have to leave class early or miss entirely. The professors are very appreciative and have been very helpful when I have to take quizzes, exams or hand in assignments early. I also think it’s helpful to have a day planner or a large calendar. I write down when I have quizzes, exams or assignments due and I write down when I have practices, games or meets. I find when I keep everything in order, I do not end up feeling overwhelmed because I know what is coming and can plan accordingly.

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

CH: My Grandma MaryAnn. She is the most amazing person I know and we always have a good time when we are together.

What is the life of a student-athlete studying history like at Allegheny College?

CH: Honestly, I think all student athletes’ lives are very similar. We are very busy people and we are involved not only in athletics, but clubs and other student organizations. Ours days are busy and it is just about learning what our priorities are and finding a way to get things done. For me, I am currently working on my senior comprehensive project, preparing for the upcoming NCAC SAAC meeting (I am the Secretary), training my replacement here as Allegheny’s SAAC Secretary, going to class, practice, work, and making sure all of my school work is done.

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

CH: I ride motorcycles and have a Harley Sportster 100 Anniversary Edition motorcycle.

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

CH: I hope to take my determination, work-ethic, leadership skills, communication skills and people skills with me. Many things we learn through being athletes transition over into the real word.

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

CH: There are two. The first is the first time I did the heptathlon my sophomore year. My coach came to me two days before the event and told me he was going to teach me how to hurdle, high jump and throw shot-put in fifteen minutes. The second was having the opportunity to go to Europe with the volleyball team and play teams from Germany, Holland and Belgium.

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

CH: I would like to get at least a B+ on my senior comprehensive project and I would like to earn first team All NCAC in one of my events in Track and Field.

What’s currently playing on your I-Pod?

CH: Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones

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

CH: Bonnie Mailliard, she is the secretary in our athletic office. She has been my work study boss for all four years. She is an amazing person and she is always looking out not only for those in the office, but the student-athletes as well. She is a kind hearted person who leads by example. She has always been there when I needed someone to listen or when I needed help hashing through a tough decision.

What is your most prized possession?

CH: The girls that I live with in the “Nut” House or the Nutrition House. The four of them have been great friends. We are so lucky because we challenge each other academically and on the track, and we are great stress relievers for each other because we are such a light hearted and goofy bunch.

In your opinion, what is the most important life lesson you learned while competing at the NCAA Div. III level?

CH: To relax, live in the moment and have fun.

How many hours a week do you spend on Facebook?

CH: Probably about two because I try to limit myself to fifteen minutes a day.

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

CH: Do it. I have enjoyed it because it helped me attain the balance in my life that I strive for between academics, athletics, and social life.

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

CH: Every day I have at least one class, work (work study in the athletic office), practice and homework. Every day is a puzzle, the trick is finding where everything best fits.

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