10/22/2008 Jill Yamma

A Rare 4-Sport Athlete

Megan Hunter ’09 is a four-sport athlete, something unheard of at any college level these days. She is a defender on the women’s soccer team, runner on the cross-country team and two-time captain of the indoor and outdoor track & field teams. This fall she is playing two sports: cross country (for the first time) and soccer. Hunter is hoping the cross-country training will help build upon the six indoor and three outdoor school records she set in her first three years at F&M. Why did you choose F&M?

I wanted to pursue a degree at a competitive liberal arts college. After visiting the campus, I was confident that this school would make me a well-rounded person through its class variety and many extracurricular opportunities. In addition to being a joint major in psychology and English, I have completed the coursework necessary to apply to post-graduate health care programs. Besides F&M’s strong academics, I was also attracted to the College’s Division III athletic program. What made you decide to play soccer and run cross country?

I like challenging myself through competition. Soccer and cross country are two completely different sports, and I enjoy them both for different reasons. I like soccer because playing the game is fun. Running is different. It’s more painful than fun, but I motivate myself by trying to set personal records every time I run a race. Being able to see my improvements in cross country and on the track makes all the hard work worth it.

Is it difficult to juggle both sports in the same season?

It is a little difficult to juggle soccer and cross country in the same season, but I would never consider giving up either sport. I think that the mental fatigue associated with competing in two same-season sports far outweighs any of the physical exhaustion. Balancing commitments to two teams and dealing with schedule conflicts have been the biggest challenges so far, but the support and encouragement that I receive from my coaches and teammates make juggling both sports possible.

How does being so active affect your academics? I think that participating in athletics year-round helps my academics. Having a demanding schedule forces me to manage my time efficiently. Also, I think that constantly being active and competing on teams with friends make me happier and less likely to be stressed by exams and assignments.

How is cross country benefiting you?

Running cross country has proven to me that I can accomplish any-thing if I work hard at it. I would have never considered myself as a distance runner, but I’m starting to like the sport. I enjoy being able to make contributions to the success of the cross-country team. Also, the meets and workouts have increased my endurance levels for soccer and track. I plan on shifting my concentration on the track from sprints to middle-distance races, so the training and racing longer distances this fall will pay off later in the year.
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