College is hard. Taking a chance and transferring from New York City to Charlotte is even harder, but Carolina Casin-Silva is doing it and thriving in her new home.
Casin-Silva is a first-year sophomore transfer student from the Dominican College of New York as well as a cross-country runner who focuses on distance competitions.
When it comes to attending UNC Charlotte, she feels like she made the right decision.
“Whenever I was searching for school, the two main things they had to have were a good running program and the major I wanted,” said Casin-Silva.
“I was looking for warmer weather and a bigger campus, and UNC Charlotte had it all.”
“It’s everything that I wanted in a college. The team has been great and I’m trying to get into the major I’ve always wanted to get into. I like the atmosphere of the campus. I have no complaints, I think it was a good decision,” said Casin-Silva.
The sophomore runner not only has big goals and a successful upcoming year of cross-country, but also a pretty bright future.
“I’m trying to get into the mechanical engineering college this fall. I know it’s going to be really tough and a lot of people have said that, but it’s not going to be a problem,” said Casin-Silva.
“I’m trying to get the freshmen curriculum done. Ideally, I would love to work for a big-time car company, travel around and help them design cars.”
Casin-Silva knows how important a team can be, and being part of the team here at UNC Charlotte has shown her what it’s like to be a part of a winning environment.
“I enjoy being on a team that not only wants to succeed, but that can actually succeed, because there is a difference in the two,” said Casin-Silva.
“I think the difference is a lot of people want to succeed, but nobody wants to put in the effort and it’s frustrating, but the girls on the team here get through it and want to win.”
For Casin-Silva, the hardest part isn’t always her running. It’s being away from her family, New York City and especially the food.
“I really miss home cooking. I miss the flavor of what I grew up with it. I have fallen in love with sweet tea, hushpuppies and Cookout.”
Running was natural for Casin-Silva. Though it was something she always enjoyed, she didn’t know it would become as important to her as it is now.
“I don’t know how it came about. I know I did a little running in seventh and eighth grade. Then as high school progressed, I got more serious and I started to learn more about the sport,” said Casin-Silva.
“I know my dad, he did a little bit of running when he was my age and my mom did running when she was older in her 30s, but it just came to me. I’ve never done any other sport.”
As the season progresses, she believes much of her success comes from her mother and father.
“I think it would be to my parents, mostly my mom. I know they’ve always supported me. With any tools or with any help, they’ve always been there to help me in any way they could.”
The coaching staff that helps her day in and day out have played a tremendous role in developing Casin-Silva into the runner she’s turned into this season.
“They’ve been great. Ed Schlitcher is pretty awesome. He’s always jumping around and excited about a workout. He’s very accommodating to anything I need,” said Casin-Silva.
“I like Ashley Vaughn a lot as well. Those are the two people I deal with the most on a daily basis.
As do most athletes, the runner has a few pre-meet routines that she believes help her to perform at the best of her abilities and remove any nervousness that she may have.
“Sometimes during the last workout before the race, I’ll think about the race, mostly when the workout gets harder, and I’ll try and visualize the last miles of the race. That’s usually the hardest part. Back at home when I have a car, I like to go for long drives the night before and just let my mind wander.”
When talking about her new running family at UNC Charlotte, she has a positive outlook on the team and its goals this year.
“We’ve been training since August and I think it’s been great, the way it’s set up. I know we’ve been all working really and we all have some goals since the beginning of August. We knew what we wanted to do in conference. I think we’ve all been doing great, I think it’s going to go really well. I’m excited.”
Many student athletes’ years may be based on just how well his or her team succeeds, but it looks like Casin-Silva is planning on making a positive out of it no matter the outcome.