Terry developed an early passion for running
April 2, 2014
FORT WORTH, Texas -- TCU senior distance runner Tricia Terry developed the perfect temperament for her sport at a very young age.
In elementary school she fell in love with running, and in the third grade, she was the second-fastest in her school. At 11, she was winning 5K races with participants older than her.
"I always knew I could run," she said. "Even before high school I knew I had a talent."
She began learning to be independent, developed a strong work ethic and the mental toughness required to excel in distance running.
It proved her well down the road.
By the time she reached high school, not many girls had the passion for running that she had.
"I was kind of by myself," said Terry, who attended McAllen Memorial High School in McAllen, Texas. "I really didn't have a team. I did what I thought I was supposed to do. Training (with a team) really didn't exist."
By the time she was a senior, there were a few more girls on the team that were recruited from the soccer and volleyball teams, she said.
"I'm super independent and it really didn't bother me," she said. "It's a team sport but really it's an individual sport."
While in high school, she was a two-time regional cross country champion twice; an two-time all-state cross country honoree; a two-time Class 5A runner-up in the 1600 meters; a All-South National Regional Team member; an eight-time All-Valley honoree in cross country and track and field; and was named to the Valley All-Decade team.
After coming to TCU, it all came to a screeching halt, however. A stress fracture in her left fibula sidelined her for the better part of a year.
"I lived in the deep well of the pool. I had to pretend I was running while treading water," she said. "I remember going through it looking ahead to the next season."
Four years later, Terry is reaping the rewards.
"It paid off because I wouldn't be here this year," she said. "If I hadn't had that injury I would be done by now. I have gotten so much better this year compared to last year, and last year I was better than the year before. It's a blessing in disguise."
She's chalking it up to being one year old and one year wiser.
"I have figured out the right things to do as far your social life, your sleeping and eating habits and all that. When you're young you think that you can do anything but your body really can't handle all that," she said. "It's amazing what those little tweaks can do and it's translated really well and I have gotten better each year."
The proof is in the numbers beginning with her school record in the mile (4:42.52) at the Tyson Invitational in February.
Also, she won mile (4:52.64) at the Texas A&M Reveille Invitational; the 3,000 meters (9:32.35) at the Texas A&M Invitational and the Tyson Invitational (9:37.70); and third in the mile at the Big 12 Indoor Championships.
On the outdoor scene, she won the 1,500 meters (4:37.62) at the TCU Invitational and finished eighth at the Texas Relays in the 1,500 with a personal-best 4:21.91.
"I saw (the school records) when I first came here and thought I would love to run that fast, but I wasn't running well at all my first couple of years here," she said. "I didn't know if I would ever get there. Now that I have, and I have made huge strides and it's gotten me hungry for more. Now I want to make it to nationals and it takes more than just school records."
She's setting her sights on making NCAA Regionals and the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.
"Right now everything is practice until conference and regionals," she said. "I have never made it to the preliminary meet. There has always been something that happens at the end of the season where I don't make it."
Terry, who has graduated in movement science with a minor in biology, is currently ranked 10th nationally in the women's 1,500 after her personal-best at the Texas Relays.
"Definitely to be in Oregon in June is the highest goal," she said.
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