ASHLAND, OH. – Through the grief of a canceled senior season and the nagging injuries of her freshman year of college, Elizabeth Adams, a 2020 High School graduate in Meadville, has gone through some of her most disappointing periods as an athlete in the past. last two years.
Adams was looking to become one of Meadville’s first track athletes to qualify for state track competition in the four years. Unfortunately, COVID-19 had other ideas in mind.
“When I heard they were shutting everything down, I kind of lost my spark,” Adams said. “Honestly, I was heartbroken. I was really chickened out and couldn’t find much motivation but one day I thought to myself that I had already committed (to Ashland University) and needed to pull myself together and start training.
Training is exactly what Adams did as she trained all summer to prepare for her first season of indoor and outdoor track and field with the Ashland Eagles. Not only did the COVID-19 protocols make her an unusual experience, it also put a damper on her social life.
“It was really weird when I first came to campus. I felt it was really hard to make friends early on outside of the track team. We were asked not to branch out and meet other people and I feel like I missed making a lot of friends from the start.
On top of that, Adams has faced injuries during the indoor and outdoor season. A lingering hamstring injury kept her sidelined for most of the season outdoors, but she managed to bounce back and end the campaign on a high note.
During the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) outdoor championships, he was asked to run for the 4×400 relay team; a team that would end the race with a third place overall. It happened after Adams placed seventh in the 400m.
“I remember my coach (Ernie Clark) calling me at the conference and telling me he really wanted me to run in the four by four. I was terrified and panicked, but I knew I had to run for these girls because they wanted to do well. So I ran with them and ran my PR (personal best), and we took third place. I’m glad I ended this year on a high note.
Adams is no stranger to medals, as she has accumulated a lot of them throughout her athletic career. Although track and field is the sport she continues after her days as a Meadville Bulldog, it wasn’t always the number one sport on her mind. It was only halfway through her high school career that she realized that athletics would be the sport that would give her the best future in the university ranks.
“I started playing football when I was seven because I wanted to be like my big sister (Karalyn),” Adams said. “I played throughout my senior year, but it was actually my sister who sat me down after I made statements my freshman year that made me realize that what I was doing in as a runner was special. Running was something I did just for fun, but it made me realize that doing states was something few athletes do.
Adams’ high school career ended with three District 10 titles in the 400m, three trips to the PIAA state meet, seven college letters between football and track and field, and a selection like his region. of the District 10 Athlete of the Year for Track and Field and Field.
There was never a debate as to whether she was going to show up at the college level, but only as to where. To help reduce it, she and her mother (Tami) compiled a list of schools that featured women’s athletics and exercise science with a pre-physical therapy track within a three-hour radius of Meadville.
To his surprise, Ashland was at the top of the list. Before digging too deep into the school, she was contacted by Ashland’s athletic coaching staff to come in for a visit.
“It was weird because I hadn’t sent them anything yet,” Adams explained. “They were the first on the list we made, and they were one of the first schools that wanted me to come and visit them and meet them. I know it sounds crazy to say, but as soon as I got out of the car I had a good feeling and knew I was going to come here. I have always felt welcomed and clicked with coaches more than with other places I had visited so far.
Now that his college experience has returned to more normal than in 2020, Adams aims to regain his health and embark on a quest to win national championships. Last season, she watched one of her teammates and mentors, Kennedy Catholic High School graduate Channing Phillips, win a national championship. One day soon, she hopes that it will be her on this podium.
Other people in her life that she’s sought out include her father, Chris, who was on the Gannon Golden Knights football program during his college days. Chris and all of the Adams family have become very athletic.
“My dad had a rule that he wanted me to play a sport every season,” she said. The sport has really brought us together and my family has not missed any of my games or meetings over the years. “
Another of her athletic mentors was her high school football coach James Miller, who really helped her step out of her comfort zone as an athlete. “He helped define my character and didn’t spare me because he saw the potential I could have as an athlete. He was tough on me in the best possible way.
Adams also credits her high school track and field coach Amy Lynn for being the one who introduced her to the 400m race. It might sound crazy now, but Adams started her college running career as a long distance runner. Lynn saw that there could be an opportunity for Adams as a sprinter, and that decision continues to pay off to this day.
In life, his rock has been his older sister, Karalyn. “She’s the one who’s always been there for me. I know I can always call her when something is wrong and she can help me out. Whenever I thought about giving up, she dissuaded me and kept pushing me to accomplish more. She always makes me feel like everything I have accomplished and continue to work for is special.
Many times in life we don’t understand why things happen. They will always remain inexplicable and will make us wonder why. For Elizabeth Adams, she will likely wonder why her chance to visit the PIAA States for the fourth time has been taken away from her. Despite this, she has a great opportunity to work towards new goals as a runner and an important future career as a physiotherapist as her days as an Ashland Eagle continue.