Cross Country


Straight From the Lion's Mouth with Michelle Wallace

Michelle Wallace (Emerson, NJ/Emerson) is a Health and Exercise Science major and member of the womens cross country team at The College of New Jersey. She is a TCNJ Scholar Athlete and an NJAC All-Conference cross country and indoor/outdoor track performer. Michelle is applying to physical therapy programs this fall and has two wishes entering her senior year: to become an All-American athlete and to avoid losing anymore sleep in her quest to attain straight As.

Q: What person (outside of a coach) has had a positive influence on your athletic career at TCNJ?

Michelle Wallace: It would definitely be my roommate. Shes not an athlete, but she has been a very influential person in my life and has always been very supportive of me and my team. She has dealt with my frustration when I was doing poorly in races and was always a great listener and gave great advice. I have to thank her for in part for things Ive accomplished in my running career. The people who support you make a huge difference in the success you have whether it be your teammates, coach, family, or a crazy roommate.

Q: Where is your favorite place to study on campus?

The second floor of the library. I can usually find half my team up there, and we somehow always get our work done despite how much we talk and joke around.

Q: Are there days when its difficult to be a college athlete?

A big concern I had coming into college was if Id able to handle the course load while being an athlete. I realized that with good time management, its not an issue at all. Sometimes I think about what life would be like if I did not run for TCNJ and I think Id have way too much time on my hands. In fact, in between seasons we find ourselves bored and anxious to get running again. Having practice every day is a great stress reliever and a nice break from schoolwork.

The TCNJ campus has a lot of respect for our athletes and my professors have shown support for me and my teammates. Also, the coaching staff never forgets that we are STUDENT-athletes and school work does come first. They make sure that were not only doing well in our respective sport but also in the classrooms. 

Q: What is your favorite late-night snack(s) that you allow yourself to indulge in?

That would have to be Halo ice cream. My favorite flavor is peanut paradise but I would really settle for any flavor. They're all delicious.

Q: What is toughest decision you have ever had to make in your sports career?

In high school I actually was not sure if I wanted to continue running in college. I was hurt junior year and I never fully recovered so it became very frustrating for me. By the end of my senior year my passion for track was not what it once was so I was unsure of what I really wanted to do in college. I decided that I should at least give it a shot so I would not regret anything. From the very first week I fell in love with running for TCNJ. I may not have been the best (in fact I was very close to the bottom) but I enjoyed every minute of being on the team.

Q: You hope to one day become a physical therapist. Where would you like to work and what would be the perfect scenario for your professional career?

My perfect scenario would be to graduate from physical therapy school and immediately get a job at an outpatient setting where I would see a wide range of patients. Over the summer I worked at a private outpatient setting where I got a chance to see patients from sports injuries, car accidents, and older patients with knee and hip replacements. Ultimately Id like to work with cancer patients. Having family members who have battled cancer, it would be a personal and meaningful experience. 

Q: If you could appear on any reality show, which would it be and how would you tailor your strategy?
I would really like to be on Most Extreme Elimination Challenge which is a game show in which contestants compete in ridiculous games and are eliminated one by one. The strategy Id have would be to make sure my helmet was secure and not hold anything back .if I happen to fall in a huge puddle of mud while trying whatever task they put me through, Id at least keep a smile on my face. :-)


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