Senior runner Jocelyn Sikora finished first in the 800-meter race on Saturday, April 8, at the Washington and Jefferson Invitational and again on Tuesday, April 11, at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational. That Saturday, Sikora crossed the line with a time of 2:23:82. Three days later and over two seconds faster, Sikora won the 800-meter race at home with a time of 2:20:65. Recently, The Tartan had a chance to talk to her about track and running for Carnegie Mellon.

Tartan: When did you start running track and why?
Sikora: I started in seventh grade. I used to play soccer, and in the off-season I thought I would see if I liked running. That’s how I started sprinting. When I moved to Orlando for my senior year of high school, I joined the cross-country team to make some friends and haven’t really run many sprints since.

T: Did you always want to run in college?
S: Until my senior year of high school I didn’t really think that I was good enough to run in college. I knew that I would keep running wherever I went, but maybe not competitively.

T: What is the hardest part about being a Carnegie Mellon student athlete?
S: The hardest part is the things that you miss, both during practice, and on the weekends. I’ve missed a lot of campus events because of track.

T: What is the best part?
S: The teammates. Some of the people that I run track with have turned out to be my best friends. Also, there are tons of places that I get to see because of track; I get to travel all over the country to compete.

T: Do you have any pre-race rituals or good luck charms?
S: Well, I have lucky socks; that’s pretty much the main thing. I’m also pretty quiet and keep to myself before a race. I like to sit and be quiet and listen to the Ataris.

T: Where is your favorite place to compete?
S: Definitely at home. My roommate and my friends who aren’t on the team are there cheering me on, and that is by far the best part about running at home.

T: What is your most meaningful accomplishment to date?
S: Well, there are several that I probably couldn’t differentiate. During my sophomore year I won the 800-meter [race] here and that was terrific. I was also named UAA athlete of the year for indoor track, which was a great honor, and last year, I qualified for nationals in outdoor [track]. Take your pick, but I can’t choose.

T: What is the best advice you have been given?
S: Don’t lose the race mentally. Someone once told me that it the mental part was the most important and to make sure that I didn’t lose it in my head.

T: Do you have track aspirations for your future?
S: It would be great to be able to keep running competitively, but it’s so hard because you have to enter everything yourself. I definitely plan to keep running in road races and those types of things. I also have a goal to be able to run a marathon and then run a marathon in every city that I’ve lived in.

T: What do you plan to do once you leave Carnegie Mellon?
S: I’m going to be working with Bank of America down in Charlotte doing some risk analysis.