TRACK : Rubeor looks to reach personal goal, qualify for NCAAs in heptathlon

first_imgKelsey Rubeor’s track and field career almost ended before she even had a chance to come to Syracuse.‘It’s complete devastation immediately,’ Rubeor said. ‘I was such a jock in high school, and when you have an injury like that, you think about who you are, and that’s what made me who I am today. It really puts things in perspective.’That injury came in Rubeor’s senior year of high school, when she suffered an ACL tear that sidelined her for nearly a year and a half. Four years later and completely healed, Rubeor has her sights set on qualifying for the heptathlon at the NCAA Outdoor Championship in June.After a top-five finish at the Big East Outdoor Championship last spring, Rubeor wants to exceed that mark as a senior. She’ll go through the season without much stress after qualifying for the Big East meet on the first weekend of the outdoor season, finishing first at the Asics/Winthrop Invitational in Rock Hill, S.C.But qualifying wasn’t completely stress-free for Rubeor. The Asics/Winthrop Invitational may have been the only opportunity Rubeor had to qualify for the heptathlon at the Big East championship all season. Only three members of the team went down for the meet, and Syracuse scheduled a trip partly to give Rubeor a chance to qualify.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘Most of the meets that we go to don’t have the heptathlon,’ SU assistant coach Dave Hegland said. ‘So you kind of have to seek them out specifically.’Rubeor does get a chance to compete in meets in other events. At some meets she may compete in hurdles, shot put and long jump, an eclectic mix that is rare to see. But competing in this mix can serve as some of the best practice for a heptathlete.‘She won’t do a multi-event really often, but she’ll go to meets pretty regularly,’ Hegland said. ‘She’s not all that unlike the other kids on the team that might be competing every week or every other week. She just won’t do an actual heptathlon outside of one or two times a season.’And the practice gained from competing is even more invaluable because of how difficult it is to balance seven events during actual practice time.A heptathlon consists of 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, a 200-meter sprint, long jump, javelin throw and an 800-meter run. Balancing training for the seven very different events can be difficult.‘You can’t train for all seven events every day,’ Rubeor said. ‘I train six days a week. You essentially pick and choose which events you want to train because there’s just not enough time in the day.’Part of what Rubeor attributes her success to in the heptathlon is her soccer background.In high school, Rubeor was a goalkeeper with Division I potential who ran track as an offseason training program.Rubeor is something of an anomaly among heptathletes in that she doesn’t have many notable strengths and weaknesses among the events. At the Asics/Winthrop Invitational, she finished first in five of the seven events. She said her balance among the events is in large part thanks to her past athletic background.‘I use the whole body — upper body, lower body — and so does a goalkeeper,’ Rubeor said. ‘I’m an exception to a lot of heptathletes. Most can’t throw, but are exceptionally fast jumpers, but I’m pretty even across the board.’Rubeor has confidence she will qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championship. And after her strong start to the season, teammates and coaches alike believe qualification is firmly within reach.‘She is persistent,’ junior Ieva Staponkute said. ‘She’s stubborn. If she wants to achieve something, she will do it. She has passion for the sport.’Rubeor wants the season to reach its conclusion. After setting such high marks in the opening weekend, she is right on the bubble of qualification. Her next chance to improve her score will be at the Big East championships more than two months from now.For now, she’ll have to wait and see if all her hard work has paid off.Said Rubeor: ‘It’s a waiting game, and I’m not a particularly patient person.’[email protected] Published on March 30, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2 Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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