Nicole Crutchfield first fell in love with track and field her sophomore year of high school, when she decided to put her natural born speed to use on the rubber turf.
Since then, she has put in countless hours of dedication and hard work into improving her abilities.
Now, as a junior track and field runner, Crutchfield is the fastest woman in the Southern California Intercollegiate Conference for the second consecutive year in the 100-meter race, and a SCIAC Division III champion.
“She is an extremely hard worker,” said Crutchfield’s head coach Pat Widolff.
Widolff recruited Crutchfield from her high school in San Diego three years ago.
“I don’t think I’ve met a harder worker, she puts so much effort into every single thing she does. I cannot express how much I appreciate everything she has done for the team.”
According to close friend and teammate Ebony Williams, Crutchfield pushes herself in every aspect of life, and constantly sets goals only to achieve them.
Crutchfield manages to improve her running time on the track even while being a computer engineer major and vice president of her sorority Phi Sigma Sigma.
“She’s always encouraging me to do better,” Williams said. “We push each other. We know each other’s weaknesses and try to make them better.”
Crutchfield’s success on the track is mostly due to the coaches she has had throughout her years of competing and close friends on the team.
“My coaches have taught me everything,” Crutchfield said. “They are the reason I am doing better, and my close friends are always helping me and defending me.”
Off the track and aside from school, Crutchfield enjoys spending time with her family and parents who are her biggest supporters. She also loves outdoor activities, sleeping, eating and shopping whenever she has the time.
However, Crutchfield’s main passion and focus will always be track and field.
She plans to continue running in track events after college, and hopes to compete in the Olympics one day. Crutchfield was never interested in other sports or activities. She appreciates track for what it is: a sport that cuts straight to the point.
“I never liked sports with an object like a ball,” Crutchfield said. “Track and field exploits speed and talent. It doesn’t center around something else.”
Crutchfield takes her training for track and field seriously. She keeps her body healthy by eating right and getting enough sleep. She also ices her muscles after every workout and practice.
“As an athlete, she knows what she wants,” friend and teammate Lili Bolanos said. “She is so determined and accomplishes a lot, and as a friend she is always there for you.”
Crutchfield’s college athletic career has been a success since her freshman year, when she was one of the four women to win the SCIAC championship in the 4×100 relay.
Her hard work paid off again at the end of her sophomore and junior year, earning the title as fastest woman in SCIAC in the 100.
Crutchfield plans on going into the Air Force after graduation. She grew up with a father in the Navy so the military was always in her future, she said. It is also where her strong work ethic comes from.
“Track and field is my passion,” she said. “I am happy to do the work for this sport, I have such a love for running and one day I plan on racing the 100 in the Olympics, and I won’t stop until I do.”
Karleigh Neff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.