Track and Field athlete Alice Zhou ’17 has been competing since her freshman year of high school. However, it wasn’t until she attended Wellesley that she began to seriously compete. At Wellesley she competes in 5k and 10k events and attends approximately 15 meets per year, including cross country and indoor track meets.
She has run for Wellesley for four years. Zhou’s favorite thing about being on the team are her team members. In her inter- view she states that her teammates have “… all been genuinely so inspiring and wonderful.” They have also been a great support system for her when she faced difficulties running. When asked what her greatest accomplish was in track and field she responded, “ Learning to ask for help and make honest assessments about pain has been so important. I spent close to a year and a half struggling to get through the easiest of runs and just being generally frustrated while trying to hide it from those around me. After I opened up a bit, my teammates, coaches, and athletic trainers helped piece things together and convinced me to get my blood tested this past winter. I found out I was pretty anemic, which explained a lot of the fatigue. I’ve been taking better care of myself and am really happy to say that it finally feels good to run and race again–just in time for my last season!”
This season Zhou has was recorded as the ‘college best’ in the indoor 5000 meter race. She has also been ‘college best’ in the 2016 outdoor 1500 meter race. She placed first in the 5000 meter race at The Regis Spring Classic-2017 meet this season. Throughout her career she has placed in several other meets since 2014. When asked what her favorite event to compete in was Zhou responded, “The 10k–I tend to enjoy longer races because you have time to settle into a nice rhythm”.
Although she has not been a leader on the team officially, she hopes that there are times in her athletic career that she has, “led by example.” As an outgoing senior on the team, Zhou advises incoming athletes to not be too hard on themselves as they adjust to college athletics and competitions.
“Don’t be discouraged if your success in high school doesn’t carry over immediately to the collegiate level; there’s a pretty significant transition involved that takes a few seasons to adjust to. Just remember that you have years to go, and that patience and a long view of things are never bad to have,” advises Zhou.
Throughout her time at Wellesley, Zhou has had to learn how to balance school, a social life and athletics. She admits that since she is in season all year, it was difficult to manage time. However, it became easier with practice.
“Like many of my teammates, I’m in season for the entire year, this includes keeping volume up over the summer. The time management is something I got used to pretty quickly, but the lack of downtime can sometimes be tough and lead to physical or mental burnout,” said Zhou.
Outside of Track and Field, Zhou enjoys reading, baking and watching documentaries. In the coming years Zhou plans to get a masters degree and research environmental remediation.
“I’d like to use my background in chemistry to approach the problem of environmental remediation,” said Zhou.
After Wellesley, Zhou plans to continue running and hopes to eventually run marathons. Although she may not want to run competitively, she said, “ my dream goal would be to move up to ultramarathons.”