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Spotlight on the Gophers 100

 

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There are approximately 100 African American and other student-athletes of color this school year at the University of Minnesota. In an occasional series throughout the 2013-14 school and sports year, the MSR will highlight these players.

This week: Gopher senior runner Te’Shon Adderley

Track is eons different from cross-country. Just ask Te’Shon Adderley.

The Nassau, Bahamas native told the MSR that she first tried running cross-country as a 12th grader upon the strong suggestion of her track coach. “It was the worst,” she recalls.

Then she ran it in junior college and not only didn’t like it: “I hated it. My coach told me that I ran so slow that he could walk beside me, saying, ‘C’mon Te’Shon’” while she’s running the course.

Last year, her first at Minnesota, Adderley again tried running cross-country. “Last year was different. Instead of doing the full

Te’Shon Adderley Photo courtesy of U of M

Te’Shon Adderley
Photo courtesy of U of M

races, I would only run a 1K, 2K and 3K,” she says out. “This year…I gave it my all every time I went to practice.”

Adderley took us through her final cross-country race she ran earlier this fall. “It was the last official race [of the season] and it was the first time I ran the entire course,” she points out. Unlike other courses, the Gophers’ home course in St. Paul is hilly. “Even though it was a tough course, I worked my butt off.

“The hills are killing you,” she continues, “and if you run too fast up the hill, they are going to get you down the hill. To me it seemed like I was going uphill all the time. I was pooped afterwards.”

She admits she nonetheless learned a great deal from running cross-country: “where to be, or what to do, or what not to do… It was a learning experience. I [finally] felt like a cross-country runner. I am a cross-country runner.”

Adderley is a mid-distance sprinter — she was the 2012 NJCAA indoor 1,000 meters champion and 2011 champion in the 4×800-meter relay outdoors. At Iowa Central Community College, she ran both cross-country, indoors track, and outdoors track.

She went the junior college route because “I needed a science and I didn’t take chemistry [in high school]. My cousin tricked me” into going to Iowa rather than attending a Texas-based school as she originally planned. “You should come up to the snow,” she was told. “You will be hot all the time [in Texas].”

However, she took care of business at Iowa Central C.C. — “I was really doing well there and had good grades. I worked my butt off. Whatever I had to do, I did it,” she recalls, adding that she didn’t want to be in an academic position similar to where she was in high school. “I wanted to make sure I was getting the degree I needed to have. That was my number-one priority.”

In her search for a four-year college to transfer to “with great track, a really good coach, and a really good academic program, I met Coach [Gary] Wilson, who’s awesome,” Adderley says of the now-retired head coach. “Minnesota just felt like it was right.”

Adderley is now preparing for her senior season in indoor track, which begins next month. “I think I have enough strength right now. All I need to do is work on my speed.”

Now a senior, Adderley says she expects to graduate in the spring next year with a business and marketing education degree. “Right now I’m going with the flow with practice.

“I hope to do well this track season. Hopefully, with God’s help, I will stay in good health.”

Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to [email protected].

 

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