Senior distance runner Rachel Barbagos is an important contributor to a strong track team. On Sept. 15, Barbagos finished first in a field of 212 runners at the UR Yellowjacket Cross Country Invitational, helping the ‘Jackets place second in that meet.
How did you get interested in running?
No idea! I pretty arbitrarily decided to do track in seventh grade and just kept adding more running sports until I was doing it all year round.
What do you enjoy most about track at UR?
The team is fantastic; it’s full of super supportive and talented men and women. I’m convinced shared pain leads to close friendships.
How have you grown as an athlete over the course of your collegiate career?
I’ve gained a lot of confidence just by getting more racing experience. I think progress comes partially from believing in your own abilities.
What has been the highlight of your running career at UR?
Getting to go to nationals with seven other super talented women my freshman year was a really cool experience. Good team bonding in the lovely state of Wisconsin!
How do you balance academics and athletics?
Compartmentalize everything! When I’m in class, I think about class; when I’m at practice I think about practice, work, etc. I’ve found it’s the only way to stay sane. I’ve also accepted that it is impossible to get work done on the bus ride home from meets and adjusted accordingly.
Who has had the greatest impact on your athletic career, and why?
My parents for getting me started and my coaches for keeping me going!
Who is your favorite professional athlete, and why?
I’m a big fan of Shannon Rowbury, Molly Huddle, Shalane Flanagan — all super strong athletes and inspiring people.
If you were a candy bar, which candy bar would you be (and why)?
Twix. I love Twix.