Small, but mighty. Small, but fast. It’s easy to focus on her petite exterior when
talking about freshman Desirae Moten’s athletic endeavors in sprint events on the track. The 200m specialist from Philadelphia, Pa. joined the Gophers this past season on the track. When asked why she chose Goucher, Moten answered, “[What] I enjoyed every time I visited [was] the energy the students had, and how encouraging and helpful they were … they said Goucher is about encouraging and helping you find the right paths.” And one of those ‘paths’ Moten decided to take was joining the track team, after competing all four years of high school.
The transition from high school athletics to the NCAA hasn’t been easy, but Moten credits the great support system in the coaches and team. “What I like about this track team is how silly everyone can be with one another and how supportive and on the same page the team can be,” she said. “I like how not only coaches are giving advice on the way someone runs, but also a teammate is adding how a runner could improve or what looked good. That is something that stands out to me a lot and it has been very helpful.”
The training cycle and techniques used by head coach John Caslin and assistant coaches Eric McCray and Art Grossman are very different from her high school, but Moten said she’s adjusting well. “In high school we did not lift or do workouts in the pool, also we did not have an indoor or outdoor track, therefore we used the field, a path near our school, or ran inside our school,” she said. Moten had to become comfortable with using starting blocks and spikes (racing shoes). In addition to getting used to new equipment, Moten also had to adjust to the fast-paced college schedule and the hectic day-to-day life of a student athlete. “Training is 2 hours out of my day that does not feel long when I am in practice, but once I leave the SRC, I feel I have no time for anything,” she said. “Track is time consuming. I try to make time for friends and sometimes I succeed while other times it is hard to make a balance between homework, practice, and friends.”
Although the transition is challenging, Moten’s outlook is forever positive. Her goals reflect this: “When I run, I think about going and that I am doing this for myself, the team, and for fun. Every time I go to a track meet I remember the words ‘have fun,’” she said. “No matter what, at some point a coach has told me to ‘just have fun’ and even though I still worry a little before I run, those two words try to ease the tension I have.” With this sort of point of view on running, Moten’s success – whether you want to measure it in times or fun – is inevitable.