ASU triathletes explain why they chose their majors

The athletes discuss how their majors impact their athletic careers

ASU triathlon athletes may be noted for their national championship and their outstanding athletic ability, but their academics are just as big a part of their lives. 

The NCAA states that: “Student-athletes commit to academic achievement and the pursuit of a degree, and they are required to meet yearly standards to be able to compete. College athletes' success is tracked using three measures: grades, minimum credit hours per year and progress toward earning a degree.”

With that standard in place, athletes not only participate in academic work, but are also required to excel in it. 

ASU's triathlon team consists of 13 members and every single one of them are held accountable for their academic standing. 

Sophomore Lillie Robinson started at ASU as a biomedical engineering major, but shortly realized that it was too time consuming for her to also be a student-athlete. 

She then changed her major to biomedical informatics.  

“Biomedical informatics take the data from the health field, public health especially, and analyzes the trends in population health and then takes measures based on what the informaticians find,” Robinson wrote in an email.

Robinson said she loves her new major and she is thankful that it requires fewer labs than her previous major. 

“I did switch after completing a semester with four labs, three of which were two-plus hours, so I feel like I have much more time,” Robinson wrote. “I also am mainly taking freshmen-level courses to catch up, so I feel like my classes are easy enough to balance with a hectic practice schedule.”

Sophomore Charlotte Ahrens' initial major was kinesiology, which she chose because it related to her status as an athlete, but she later decided that she wanted to switch to supply chain management.

“I was always interested in the economy of our world, which has a big impact on our political, environmental and social decisions," Ahrens wrote in an email. “I didn't really know what to expect, but I was open to start something completely new.”

Ahrens is also minoring in Spanish, adding to a hectic schedule that sometimes leaves her stressed.

“The major is perfectly combinable with our triathlon practice schedule,” Ahrens wrote. “Practice helps me to blow my mind (off) from all the classes and studying and also the other way (around).”

Senior Katie Gorczyca was a transfer last year from Colorado Springs Elite Triathlon Academy. When she came to ASU, she decided to major in kinesiology. 

“I have always been interested in the sciences and sports,” Gorczyca wrote in an email. “When I found out that ASU had a kinesiology program, I got excited and chose that as my major.”

When she graduates, she would like to go into the healthcare field. 

“My major definitely plays a role in my athletic life because I have learned about human anatomy and how the muscles work, and it’s very interesting,” Gorczyca wrote. “Obviously, we use all of our muscles in the sport of triathlon, so it helps out.”

ASU's triathlon team competes next weekend in USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championship on Sunday, Nov. 5 in Tempe. 


Reach the reporter at cncarte1@asu.edu or follow @CCydeni on Twitter.

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