The Pepperdine women's track team competed in their first-ever indoor track meets last year. While all the indoor track meets up until now have been held at Northern Arizona, this Friday they'll be heading to Washington and the UW Invitational. Claudia Rodriguez, a captain of the women's track team, describes what the experience has been like, what she's looking forward to for the upcoming meet, and reflects on her senior year in general:
Q: Last year was the first time for indoor track. Now that it's the second time around, is it any different?
A: It's definitely different this time around. Last year indoor was a new experience for pretty much all of us. We didn't know what to expect, but now coming back for the second time, we all had a better idea of how the meet was going to go. We all knew it was our first meet and we competed just three days after we came back from break, so we all just wanted to go into the meet, see where we were at, and have fun.
Q: At this point you've only run indoor at Northern Arizona, but since the next indoor meet is at Washington, are you excited about running indoor somewhere new?
A: I am so excited about running in Washington! Personally, I've never been to the Pacific Northwest, so this is going to be a fun experience. This is a very fast meet, so the competition will definitely push us to run some fast times.
Q: What are you looking forward to in general about the meet and what goals are you setting?
A: Like I said, this meet is fast. It's still early in the season, but I am hoping to run some good races in Seattle. This is a great opportunity to run against some amazing competition.
Q: What have you liked so far about running indoor?
A: Indoor is a great way to get the season started. It's a good indicator of where you are and helps you realize what needs to be done for outdoor in order to reach your goals. And traveling with the team is always a good time. We have a lot of fun together!
Q: What's it been like running for Pepperdine & running for coaches like Robert Radnoti and Venus Jewett?
A: I've learned a lot running for Pepperdine. Originally, I didn't plan on running in college, but now I can't imagine not running. My teammates are the best, and Coach Rad and Coach V work really hard to make us the best athletes and individuals we can be. I've had to sacrifice a lot for the team, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Running for Pepperdine has honestly been one of the greatest joys of my life.
Q: What has the whole Pepperdine experience been like for you?
A: I'm not going to lie, it's been tough going to school so far away from home, but I've been afforded a lot of great opportunities here at Pepperdine. The chance to run here has been great, I'm getting a great education, and I feel confident that both my schooling and athletic training are going to serve me well in the future.
Q: So you also work in the athletics video production crew. What is that like and what do you enjoy about that?
A: I love working in the athletics video production crew! I love all sports (even if I can't play them), so having a job where I get to be involved with the other sports is fun!
Q: What's your major and what are your plans for life post-Pepperdine? Is running involved in that future?
A: I'm an integrated marketing communications major and I am hoping to work in the music industry after graduation. I'll probably move back home to Nashville and try and find a job there. As of right now, running professionally isn't in the picture, but you never know. I'd love to help coach a team if at all possible. Regardless of it I'm running professionally or not, I hope to be able to stay active by running and lifting.