Student-Athlete of the Week

April 15, 2013

Athlete of the Week

Diana Long

You have the Mt. SAC Relays this week in Walnut, Calif. What are your goals for the meet?

I will definitely be taking advantage of the nice weather of California to just try and improve my time as this is my goal every weekend.

As a native of Wyoming, what does it mean for you to wear brown and gold while in competition?

As a native of Wyoming, I feel grateful to represent my state in uniform. Coming from a small town, and state that is, there is such a great support system for all Wyoming athletes and it is an honor to wear the brown and gold colors in competition.

You also played volleyball and basketball in high school. When did you realize you have speed and wanted to focus on track?

Basketball and volleyball were both great experiences to be a part of a team however with track I not only got to be a teammate but also got the gratifying feeling when I was the only one responsible for my success. Not only was that the reason but spending the time outside is a plus.

Other than going home/being with family, what excites you most when you go back home to Torrington?

There's a local Mexican restaurant, Lira's, that is always a must when I go home. It has the best homemade Mexican food I've ever had.

You own UW's fourth best all-time mark in the 400m hurdles with a 59.90 from the 2010-11 season. How did you feel after achieving that time and what are you doing to try to beat that mark?

When I ran that time, I was completely thrilled because for any 400 hurdler, it is quite an accomplishment to be able to run a sub-60 time. I've definitely had my eye on beating that time and only have a short amount of time to accomplish that. The only thing I can do is give 100 percent every day at practice and compete every weekend like it's my last chance.

What's running through your head before a race?

Before a race, there's not much going through my head other than `I hope I don't trip over a hurdle and fall on my face.' Of course, I've run enough races to know what to expect, but to be honest each race feels like my first and my nerves are through the roof. I just take a deep breath and remind myself to breathe.

What are your career plans after you graduate with a degree in kinesiology and health promotion?

Next year I will begin a two-year physical therapy assistant program in Fort Morgan, Colo.

Did your older sisters Andrea and Maria introduce you to sports or is it something you explored on your own?

Growing up, sports were a big part of each of our lives; however, we all had our different strengths in different sports. My parents were always so supportive and encouraging with the decisions we made; I wouldn't have made it nearly this far without them.

Is there a favorite family vacation you went on or a memory with your family that sticks out?

Anytime my family is able to get together is a memory to remember. These times are so scarce, it is essential that each reunion is cherished.

What has been your favorite class taken at UW?

One of my favorite classes I've taken is probably also one of the hardest classes I have taken. In Advanced Exercise Testing, I learned how to read ECGs while someone is exercising. I thought it was amazing how a few lines on a piece of paper can tell so much about a person's health.

Your favorite type of music? All-time favorite movie?

I'm not too picky about my music. I definitely enjoy a variety: country, pop, hip-hop, it's all good within reason. As far as movies, I'm one of the biggest movie junkies I know. I grew up without cable or dish so there is no way I can pick a favorite one; it depends on my mood.