Freshman spotlight: Cross country 2023-24


1. Why did you choose UD to continue your cross country passion and education? What was the epiphany that made you commit?

2. As a freshman, you are learning what it means to be a student athlete. How is that lifestyle so far? Who/what has supported you?

3. Favorite Cap Bar drink.

Giselle Avalos. Photo by UD Athletics.

Giselle Avalos

Freshman, Undecided major

Winnie, Texas

1. I chose UD because I really liked the school when I came to visit. Also, I really like to run so being able to run at the next level was kind of fun. I know that there’s a great curriculum here.

2. The lifestyle as a student athlete is pretty hard. It’s hard to find the motivation to go have practice and to study. It’s really exhausting and tiring. You just want to sleep all day but you obviously can’t. It’s a lot different than high school but it’s just something we’re learning to do.

3. Ambrosia. It’s the only thing I’ve ever tried from there and I haven’t changed it!

Thomas Skendzel. Photo by UD Athletics

Thomas Skendzel

Freshman, Undecided major

Traverse City, Michigan

1. I came to the University of Dallas for the academics and admissions, but cross country was definitely an appeal. I was very impressed by our coach, Coach Schneigert. He really drew me in and kind of helped me along the process, and so that was very attractive about UD.

2. It’s definitely been a transition, I’ll say. The 6 a.m. practices have been kind of rough in that sense, but I’m starting to learn a balance between cross country and schoolwork here. I think it’s going to start paying off.

3. Never been.

Brenda Chicas. Photo by UD Athletics.

Brenda Chicas

Freshman, Double-major: business and psychology

Irving, Texas

1. Actually I started running cross country my senior year [of high school]. I chose UD because it was really close to home and it was a Catholic school, so that was a really big plus on it. For cross country, I was debating on going to Rockford University or coming to UD. But I ended up choosing UD after I came to the campus for a visit. I fell in love with the campus and everyone was so nice and just the academics, and the way they express themselves about the academics. I knew that I couldn’t let this opportunity pass.

2. The coach is really understanding and he’s always checking up on us to make sure that schoolwork is going good and classes are doing good. So I feel like that’s a really good thing to have is your coach constantly checking up on you because it feels like[…]especially being a freshman the courses are a bit hard, harder than high school for the most part.

3. My favorite Cap Bar drink is an iced caramel macchiato.


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