Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Five Minutes With ...

Name: Makorobondo “Dee” Salukombo

Hometown/High School: Lakewood, OH/Lakewood

Institution: Denison University

Major: Chemistry

Sport (s): Cross Country, Indoor & Outdoor Track and Field

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

MDS: I chose a DIII institution for three reasons: the strong academics, the close community where everyone knows each other and getting to participate in the sports I love while putting my academics as the first priority.

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

MDS: I would trade places with my cousin Timothy who lives in Africa. He thinks that once someone comes to America, he or she automatically becomes rich. I don’t know if one day would be enough but I would love for him to see that America is not heaven. Even though there are so many more opportunities in America than Congo, I would love for him to know that even rich people in America have to WORK HARD to get where they are.

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

MDS: I think the ideals where founded on diversity because you could be a great athlete, an outstanding student and still have enough time to make an impact on your community through volunteering and other projects

• People may be surprised to know that ……

MDS: In May, I will be running from Granville to Lakewood (120 miles, 40 miles/day) in 3 days to raise some funds to help students in my native village of Kirotshe in the D.R. Congo.

• How has your experience been in balancing athletics and academics at Denison University?

MDS: At first, I thought that I had everything under control as I did in high school. Then I realized that I was wrong. So I went to my teachers, advisors and coaches, and they helped me come up with a better study and running schedule.

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

MDS: I would love to be with my entire family because my brothers and sisters tell the funniest jokes and we will all be laughing and forget about time…until someone finds us.

• What is the life of a student-athlete studying chemistry like at Denison University?

MDS: Two words: EXTREMELY CHALLENGING. I run about 80 miles a week, which always leaves me empty. I don’t know if I could be able to do what I have done so far if we didn’t have amazing professors and coaching staff who care about you not only when you're on the track, but in everything you do, and are willing to help in any way they can.

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

MDS: I was a very good dancer in Africa and I could do a few tricks with a soccer ball (well, any ball). Also, I can make my stomach big as if I am 6 months pregnant right after I finish eating.

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

MDS: I hope to always be a self motivator and a benefit to my team

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

MDS: Being an All-American for the first time! I went from being 236th my freshmen year to be 33rd my sophomore year. The best part was the joy that it brought to Coach T. I always like to see him happy.

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

MDS: I want to get all A’s for the rest of my college classes and I want to win a national championship.

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

MDS: I don’t own an I-Pod

• Do you have one coach and or professor in mind that has impacted your career the most at Denison University?

MDS: My cross-country coach Phil Torrens has impacted me the most. As a high school senior, he came to most of my track meets to show his support. I thought that was because he just wanted me to come to Denison. But, I am a junior now, and he has been there for me from day one of my college career to now with the same passion and excitement from those good old high school days.

• What is your most prized possession?

MDS: My extremely colorful African shirt my aunt Marie Jeanne gave me about 8yrs ago!!! It was huge then, but it fits me perfectly now!

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

MDS: Never give up. Even though you may fail the first, second, or even third time, keep learning from your mistakes and find the best plan to make you the best you can possibly be.

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

MDS: 3.5 to 5.

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

MDS: If you want a quality education and meeting long lasting friends, then you are doing the right thing.

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

MDS: Wake up, eat my bagel and banana for breakfast, go to class, get some lunch, go to work, go to practice, dinner with the team, fun time, then homework for the rest of the night.

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