Junior sprinter Shanthi Chodagiri decided to try track on a whim. Lucky for her coaches, she liked it.

The biochemistry major from Brighton, N.Y. recently led her team to a third place finish out of 11 teams at the Saints Indoor Invitational hosted by St. Lawrence University.
Chodagiri was a double winner, taking the top spot in the 500-meter dash and running the opening leg of the first-place 4-by-400 meter relay team.

How long have you been running?
I’ve been running since seventh grade.

What made you decide to become a runner?
I tried out for the basketball team, and I didn’t make it, so I decided to join a team that didn’t have cuts. Track was the one.

What do you think about when you’re running a race?

I try to block out the pain, and I sometimes have a song in my head. If I hear someone’s footsteps behind me, I speed up.
I’m just trying to make it to the finish line without someone catching me.

What do you think is the best part about being on the track team?
I like being competitive and the adrenaline rush that comes with it, especially after the race, whether you did well or not.
I also really like the friends that you make and practicing with them.
It’s nice having time off from stressful schoolwork.

How do you keep up with schoolwork and participate in a varsity sport?
I just stay up late and try to find time whenever I can.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Sleeping in, since I’m always staying up so late.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like hanging out with my friends, reading and doing outdoor activities. I’m a member of the UR Outing Club.

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