Student Features

Swim Challenge Feature: Justin Stephens

Justin is a first year student at KSU who has been participating in the Chattahoochee River Swim Challenge hosted by our Aquatics program! By tracking his swims, Justin is moving up on the leaderboard and is getting closer to the goal of swimming the length of the Chattahoochee River - 430 miles!

The Chattahoochee River Swim Challenge is a great way to track your swims! “I get a better idea of how much progress I've made and of how long I've been training by doing the challenge.”

Swimming has helped Justin with his overall health goals. “It is definitely good for endurance because I wouldn't have thought I could swim as long as I do, but I push my limits and learn more about what I am capable of every time I train.”

Justin Stephens about to begin a lap in the pool

Although Justin is taking all online classes this semester, he didn’t let that stop him from getting involved on campus. In addition to the Chattahoochee River Swim Challenge, Justin also participates in the Master’s Swim program! This program offers a coached workout during the week for anyone over 18 years of age. With COVID halting many programs earlier this year, the Master’s team was able to practice once the fall semester had started. Being able to get involved helped Justin connect with other students and he was able to learn lesser known skills like turns and starts from the team.

Check out all of our Aquatics offerings - from swim lessons to Master’s Swim team on our webpage!

 

  • Katie Hopkins is a Junior majoring in Marketing and is a participant in the Chattahoochee River Swim Challenge hosted by our Aquatics program! By tracking her swims, Katie is moving up on the leader board and is getting closer to the goal of swimming the length of the Chattahoochee River - 430 miles!

    “I participate in the Chattahoochee River Swim Challenge because it is a fun way for me to keep track of all the yards that I swim each week and it is rewarding to see how far I’ve come!

     Katie Hopkins swimming in pool

    Swimming has benefited my overall health in numerous different ways!  I have been in this sport since I was 8 years old and I find that swimming has more and more benefits as I continue in the sport.  Swimming is a great sport physically and mentally, and I always find that after a stressful day it is so nice to unwind and relax with a swim.”

    New to swimming or looking to get into the sport? Katie encourages beginners to not be afraid and to try something new. “Swimming can be an intimidating sport, but it is also a sport that teaches an essential life skill that is beneficial for everyone to learn.  The swimming community is very welcoming, and it is never too late to get involved in this sport!”

    Katie also participates in the Master’s Swim Team! The KSU Master’s Team is an opportunity to pursue a lifelong love of swimming for Sports and Recreation members over 18 years in a supportive, coached, team practice! This is a great option for those looking to prepare for a competition in a swim meet or triathlon. Swimmers of all abilities and levels from novice to competitive are welcome! Katie says the team is always excited to have new swimmers!

    Check out all of our Aquatics offerings - from swim lessons to Master’s Swim team on our webpage!

  • Avani Shah is a sophomore Business Marketing major and a group fitness instructor with OwlFit. She has been practicing yoga for 4 years and teaches a variety of classes including Yin, restorative, and Hatha Yoga!

    Avani Shah with yoga mat

    In celebration of National Yoga Awareness month, we asked Avani about her practice and advice for those interested in getting into Yoga. Being able to do your practice anywhere and with no equipment is one of her favorite things. “Yoga has played a major role in helping me de-stress and take time for myself to practice being present and patient!” Who couldn’t benefit from being more present and patient?

    “I would encourage someone to begin practicing yoga because the benefits are long term! It’s great for maintaining and increasing your body’s strength, flexibility, and mobility for now and long into the future.”

    New to yoga? Don’t feel intimated. Avani’s advice: “Be patient! When people think of yoga they assume they must be flexible or they won’t be good, which is so untrue! I encourage people to come practice because overtime that flexibility will increase, you just have to be patient!”

    Ready to begin? Join Avani and other OwlFit instructors in our virtual group fitness programs! Yoga is offered multiple times throughout the week and can be a great way to start or end your day.

  •  

    Delvin Wheaton is a Junior Organizational Communications major and a group fitness instructor with OwlFit! He has been practicing yoga for 2 years. With OwlFit, Delvin teaches a variety of yoga including Power, Vinyasa and Hatha.

     Delvin Wheaton with Yoga Mat


    In celebration of National Yoga Awareness month, we asked Delvin a few of his favorite things about the practice. “My favorite thing about yoga is the change that it reveals. In any aspect, practicing will show you that you'll always keep changing and growing, but that you'll always have more to learn, which is exciting to me. Yoga has taught me discipline and how to take better care of myself. I've realized that in a posture, or off the mat, there's always a variation I can take to get through something."

    When asked why someone should begin practicing yoga, Delvin said it will help people find themselves. “To me, there isn't any way in which you can slow down and not learn about yourself through what yoga has to offer you.”


    “Keep trying and realize that continued practice is a success alone. Many learn to walk, and still fall, it doesn't mean you don't try and walk again! Most importantly watch your breathing, breath is what you'll always return to, even in the hardest asana whether it's on the mat or off one.”

     
    Ready to begin? Join Delvin and other OwlFit instructors in our virtual group fitness programs! Yoga is offered multiple times throughout the week.

    OwlFit Group Fitness
  • “My time at KSU was completely changed because I was involved in Outdoor Adventures. People always tell you to get involved in something when you go to college. OA is what I chose, and I feel like it was the best decision I made in college!"

     Joey Website with Snowboard

    How long were you a part of Outdoor Adventures(OA)? What was your role?

    I was a participant and trip leader in OA all throughout college (2011-2014). My only regret is not learning about OA earlier during my first semester in school.

    How did Outdoor Adventures impact your life at KSU?

    OA was the best college job I could have every asked for! My first trip was a snowboarding trip to Park City, UT - an AMAZING experience at an affordable price that would not have been possible without OA. I connected with the trip leaders and realized they were getting PAID to lead a snowboarding trip! As an outdoor adventure enthusiast, I knew I had to do whatever it took to become a trip leader. I spent a few weekends every semester leading trips of my own, and attending others as a participant because I was either getting paid, or getting opportunities to try new activities at a more affordable price. I found a job opportunity to have incredible adrenaline infused experiences like skydiving, hang gliding, kayaking, canoeing in alligator infested swamps, kiteboarding beach trips, AND get paid for them. That was a dream come true.

    How has it impacted life after college?/What knowledge or skills do you still use?

    Post college, I was very sad to not have that opportunity anymore, and even debated staying in school part-time to continue the fun work. During my time with OA, I learned the importance of planning for trips instead of “just winging it”, and how to positively and enthusiastically lead a group of individuals cohesively. I use those leadership and communication skills in my businesses today. I also learned a lot about caring for our environment through Leave No Trace. I use and teach LNT to friends and family on our adventures in Hawaii. I learned to think ahead and how to respond to potential emergency situations through Wilderness First Aid, which empowers me on adventures. I also learned a lot about camping that I never knew, like sleeping in hammocks and how to stay warm, starting a fire with two sticks, how to react and prepare for bears (bear hangs, hands up/move backwards slowly), how to use camping cookware, camping meal ideas, and many other lessons.

    Why would you recommend others get involved with OA?

    I would recommend OA to EVERYONE. Getting out of our comfort zones is important for personal growth and learning, and what better way to do that than with a friendly group of same-age people going to beautiful destinations and having thrilling experiences? I learned a lot and was given opportunities I otherwise would not have been able to afford.

    What's life like for you now?

    Life is good apart from the craziness that everyone is experiencing in the world. Becca and I are living in Hawaii, I run Joey’s Balloon Company in a few large cities across the mainland remotely, operate a Hawaii-based tour company and own/manage a vacation rental here on the Big Island. Covid-19 has shut all these businesses down currently, so I’m working on a finance YouTube channel in the meantime. Becca is working on saving the world. She’s a grad student at U of H at Hilo studying intertidal communities (organisms that live between high tide and low tide). She has a scholarship that waives her tuition and she gets a stipend for teaching undergrad science classes.

    Joey graduated from KSU in 2014 with a degree in Human Services. He worked for Nature Bound as a Trip Leader with a focus on snowsports and paddlesports from 2011-2014. Joey now lives in Hawaii with his wife Becca, who is also an OA Alum, and he continues to include adventures in his work and play.

  • "My time at KSU was completely changed because I was involved in Outdoor Adventures. People always tell you to get involved in something when you go to college.OA is what I chose, and I feel like it was the best decision I made in college!"

     Casey Waldsmith with trees in background

    How long were you a part of Outdoor Adventures(OA)? What was your role?

    I was part of Outdoor Adventures for quite a while. I started with the Department of Sports and Recreation in 2012 in Equipment Checkout. At the time, Equipment Checkout was housed with the Bike Shop in a small area in the old recreation center. In the summer, I would also assist with checking in patrons to get extra hours. Eventually, most of the recreation center was shut down as they began construction on what is now the Dr. Betty L. Siegel Student Recreation and Activities Center. I was one of the few lucky student assistants who would keep their position during construction. We moved Equipment Checkout, the Bike Shop, and Nature Bound into trailers outside of the building, as to still provide some services to students. As funny as it sounds, we had the time of our lives working in those trailers. I grew incredibly close to the other student assistants, and the days were filled with constant laughter. We stayed in the trailers for over a year (maybe even closer to two).

    In my role, I would frequently interact with the Nature Bound Trip Leaders who would swing by to pick up equipment. Two of the trip leaders encouraged me to register for my first trip (Billy Pownall and Harrison Kish). We went snowboarding in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and I had a blast. After that, I applied to be a Trip Leader and was leading trips snowboarding, mountain biking, caving, hang gliding, zip lining, etc. I led every trip I could get my hands on. Eventually, I was also a Marketing Intern for the department. In my spare time, I also worked out every day, participated in group fitness classes, and personal training. So, I was very involved and practically lived in the Recreation Center. I even got certified to teach yoga and placed second in the Daffodil Dash!

    How did Outdoor Adventures impact your life at KSU?

    My time at KSU was completely changed because I was involved in Outdoor Adventures. People always tell you to get involved in something when you go to college. OA is what I chose, and I feel like it was the best decision I made in college. The people I worked with in OA became my family. We were together constantly and we made memories that I will carry with me forever. When I graduated from KSU, I was devastated to leave because I knew I was closing that chapter in my life.

    How has it impacted it after college?/What knowledge or skills do you still use?

    One of the most important skills that OA taught me was to do what makes you uncomfortable because it means that you're growing. When I first started at KSU, I made the decision that I wanted to take every opportunity and learn from it. I wanted to push myself and see what would happen. Before OA, I had never mountain biked, backpacked through the woods, snowboarded, kayaked, etc. I decided to try it, and it led to lifelong friends and a newfound confidence in myself. Now, I take on projects and push myself because I know it leads to growth no matter what the outcome is. In my OA Marketing Internship, I also gained valuable skills that I used when I started looking for a job. Adobe InDesign is something every marketing person should know how to use. I was already familiar with it because I used it in my internship (thanks, Sandefur!!). 

    Why would you recommend others get involved with OA?

    There are many reasons why I would suggest getting involved in OA, but there are three I would highlight. The first is because you'll meet amazing people. I grew close to the people I worked with in OA, but I also met tons of people through the Nature Bound trips that I attended or led. These are people I wouldn't have met otherwise. I still keep in touch with some of these people. The second is because being active is one of the best things you can do for yourself. I pushed my body and I was in the best shape of my life when I worked in OA. I never thought I'd place in a 5K. To me, that was so rewarding. The third is that I had an opportunity to do a variety of things that I never thought I'd be able to do. If you had told me in high school that I'd have an opportunity to learn to snowboard, kayak, mountain bike, etc., I would have thought it was a joke. I felt very lucky to find OA!

    What's life for you now?

    After graduating with my undergraduate degree in Business Marketing in 2015, I knew I wanted to go back to school. I wanted to learn more about the field of marketing, but one of my goals was to eventually teach at the college level. I enrolled in KSU's MBA program in Summer 2017 and graduated in Spring 2019. Today, I have an amazing job that I'm incredibly thankful for! I work for KSU Journey Honors College at Kennesaw State University. In my role as Communications and Marketing Specialist, I'm fortunate to be able to do a variety of things including graphic design, social media marketing, recruitment, international travel with students, program development, and event planning. It's impossible to list all of the things I do in my position! I also fulfilled my dream of teaching at the college level in Spring 2019, when I began teaching for KSU Journey Honors College. I also teach a social media marketing course in Coles College of Business, which is surreal! In addition, I bought a house, so the last five years have been life-changing! The next step is a doctoral program in the field of marketing.

    During Casey's time at Outdoor Adventures, she was a Nature Bound trip leader, Gear Rental Attendant, and Marketing intern. Before graduating in 2015 with a degree in Business Marketing, Casey led backpacking, snowboarding and mountain biking trips with Nature Bound. Since her undergraduate days, she has earned her MBA at KSU and is working for the KSU Journey Honors College as the Communications and Marketing Specialist and Part-Time Instructor.

  • "Outdoor Adventures gave me a community of people who share my love for the outdoors, and opportunities to go on trips that I would have never been able to do otherwise."

    Carter Rechsteiner

    How long were you a part of Outdoor Adventures(OA)? What was your role?

    I was with OA for roughly 2 years. I started as a participant, then a gym attendant, and finally a Trip Leader. As a Trip Leader I mainly led climbing trips and some mountain biking and cycling trips.

    How has being involved with Outdoor Adventures impacted your life after college? What knowledge or skills do you still use?

    OA impacted my life at KSU by sharing my love for the outdoors with other students, but also by giving me a community of people with similar interests and giving me the opportunity to go on and lead trips I would never have been able to do otherwise.

    Why would you recommend others get involved with OA?

    I would recommend OA to anyone who is looking to learn how to be a leader in an outdoor setting, or to anyone who is willing to help new people in their respective interest/specialty. Also, if you join OA you get to name climbing routes, which is sick. 

     

    Carter Rechsteiner graduated in 2019 with a degree in Mechatronics Engineering. He had the opportunity to guide KSU students on a climbing 10-day trip to Colorado and Utah. He is responsible for developing new climbs in the Atlanta area and participates in trail clean-up events. Carter is still an avid rock climber and is passionate about introducing new climbers to the sport.

  • Morgan Sliker

    Morgan Sliker

    Congratulations to Morgan Sliker, an OwlFit personal trainer and group fitness instructor who has earned a B.S. Exercise Science degree and Minor in Psychology! Morgan plans on continuing to coach ice skating after graduation and is seeking a full-time career in the health and fitness industry.

    "The best part about working with Sports and Recreation was the genuine co-workers and supervisors I had the pleasure of working with. Each staff member truly wanted to see each other succeed and learn in our positions, and I felt so supported through my time on campus as well as virtually during COVID.

    Some encouraging words from Morgan: "There are always opportunities to learn something new; find a new exercise, learn a new technique, develop stronger professional skills, etc., but it is up to you to continue to learn and grow!"

     

    Amelia Reynolds 

    Amelia Reynolds

    Congratulations to Amelia Reynolds, a Nature Bound Trip Leader who is graduating with a  Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Minor in Sociology! After graduation, Amelia plans on taking a much-needed break from school. Amelia is unsure of career plans but is looking forward to more adventures.

    "The most important thing that I have learned while working at Outdoor Adventures is that life is so fun at the brink of our comfort zone. Working and befriending the Nature Bound crew has opened the door to so many new things: rock climbing, mountain biking, road cycling, backpacking, leadership, and awesome new friendships! I am so thankful for my experiences here!"

     

    Congratulations Morgan & Amelia! 

  • Anthony with Bicycle 

    I was a part of Nature Bound and worked at the bike shop during my time at KSU. Nature Bound was how I found one of the activities I am most passionate about, mountain biking. I joined on a whim because I wanted to try something different and from that trip, I met a bunch of awesome people who would become my best group of friends while I was at KSU.

    I was a member of Nature Bound and a bike tech at OA for 2 years. I learned how to repair bikes and still work part time as a mechanic today, so I can stay a part of the biking world. To this day I regularly go out and bike and try to spend time outside.

    My time in Nature Bound showed me how important outdoor activities are to my overall well-being. I would highly recommend OA to anyone who has even the slightest interest in the outdoors. Every trip I went on was memorable and the people were always the best to hangout with. Spending the weekend outdoors or taking a day trip are all great ways to disengage from the stress that “regular” life brings. OA challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and I grew so much from the experiences. To anyone who is on the edge of trying a trip take my word, just go once and you will be hooked.

    Anthony graduated from KSU in 2015 with a degree in Anthropology. He worked as a Bike Tech for two years with Outdoor Adventures and was a regular participant in Nature Bound Trips. He continues to work on bikes as a part time mechanic, and stays involved in the sport he is passionate about.

  • Outdoor Adventures Alumni: Laura Cottongim

     

    Laura in kayak with friend

    How long were you a part of Outdoor Adventures(OA)? What was your role?

    I was at OA from 2014 - 2018. Started counseling the summer day camp and worked my way up to Trip Leader Mentor. OA was a great place to meet amazing people at KSU and get out of my comfort zone.

    How has being involved with Outdoor Adventures impacted your life after college? What knowledge or skills do you still use?

    After graduating I took the leadership skills I learned and apply them in my current job. Many of the skills covered in ALC [Adventure Leadership Course] I still use today. Things like effective communication, feedback, and conflict management. The detailed planning that goes into a trip prepared me for a logistical role. The punctuation and standards that we were held to, also prepared me for working on a professional level. I also got a lot out of instructing my peers. This helped the most when presenting ideas to a group of “peers” who are all significantly older than me.

    Why would you recommend others get involved with OA?

    I would encourage others to get involved not only for the amazing friends and people, but for the life experiences that are created. There is so much to learn by doing outdoor activities that can so easily be related to future jobs and opportunities.

    Laura Cottongim graduated in 2018 with a degree in Industrial Engineering Technology. Laura guided whitewater, sea kayaking, hiking, and backpacking trips for Outdoor Adventures during her time at KSU. She also held leadership positions within OA and instructed her peers on leadership topics and outdoor skills. Currently, Laura is working as an Industrial Engineer in Chattanooga and enjoys adventuring on weekends.

  • While we know the Spring semester didn't go as planned, our student staff remained resilient and finished out the semester strong! Here are a few of our student staff members who are now graduates of Kennesaw State University!

    Facilities

    • Lauren Burns

      Lauren Burns

      Lauren Burns has worked as a facility manager for Sports and Recreation and is graduating with a Masters of Science in Information Technology degree and a certificate in Data Management and Analytics! After graduation, Lauren will continue working with the Cobb County Government as a Technical Support Analyst. She credits her position at the recreation centers with becoming more of a people person.

      Quotes Lauren likes to live by:

      "Life is short, buy the shoes"

      and "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem" - Captain Jack Sparrow.

      • Sylvia Headshot

        Sylvia Okonkwo

        Sylvia Okonkwo has worked as a facility manager with Sports and Recreation and is graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in African and African American Studies (AADS). After graduation, Sylvia plans to further her career in psychology.


        Working a the recreation center provided many lessons for Sylvia - however, one of the biggest lessons she learned was how to establish herself as a leader while gaining respect from her peers.


        Some words of wisdom that Sylvia likes to live by: “You’re busy doubting yourself while so many people are intimidated by your potential”.

        • Anthony Morris

          Anthony Morris

          Anthony Morris has worked as a facility manager with Sports and Recreation and is next up on our graduation shout outs! Anthony will be graduating with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree with a concentration in Band and Choral Education. After graduating, he plans on teaching band for a couple years and heading back to the classroom to continue his education to receive a Masters of Music in Wind Band Conducting.


          "I learned a lot from my time here at the rec center. I learned leadership skills, teamwork, and perseverance. However, one of the best things I have experienced here is… FAMILY. In the past three years, I have gained life-long friends that have become my family. I can’t believe the time is up for me here but it’s been amazing so thank you to everyone here with me. I am going to miss EVERYONE!"

           
          Anthony wants to encourage everyone with this quote:  “The thing you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain your Legacy"~ Kalu N. Kalu

          • Natalie Janes Headshot

            Natalie Janes

            Natalie Janes has worked with Sports and Recreation as the Facilities and Events Graduate Assistant. While reflecting back on her time here, the majority of her favorite moments are the interactions she has had with her student staff! She has a hard time picking a favorite moment because they constantly kept her laughing with them (or at them?)! ;) Natalie also enjoyed and looked forward to the tradition of monthly birthday lunches with the full-time staff!

             
            Natalie will be graduating with a Masters of Science degree in Sport Management. Her next goals are to make it through COVID-19 healthy and find a full-time position in Campus Recreation.


            A quote Natalie likes to live by: "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

            Outdoor Adventures

            • Muhammad Headshot

              Muhammad Bilal

               

              Muhammad has worked as a Trip Leader with Outdoor Adventures during his time at Kennesaw State! He has completed his Bachelors of Science in Interactive Design Degree!  After graduation, he plans on traveling a lot more - exploring different places and countries. Career wise - he is ready to begin his full time work soon after graduation!
              While working with Outdoor Adventures as a trip leader, Muhammad found his passion for the outdoors which is something he is truly grateful for!


              Muhammad wants to encourage others to try new things! You might find something you love!

              OwlFit

              • Ariana in Graduation Cap and Gown

                Ariana Garbers

                ArianaGarbershasworkedasanOwlFit groupfitnessinstructorteaching Pilates! She is a dual-enrolled student who is graduating this May! After graduation, she will be starting classes at Georgia Tech this summer pursuing a degree as an Industrial Engineering major. She also plans on keeping group fitness as a key part of her life, since it has made such an impact on her!

                "As soon as I started the group fitness instructor prep program, I already felt like I was a part of the OwlFit family. After getting hired, I felt like I belonged to something bigger, not just teaching fitness, but changing people's lives and creating a community. My favorite part of working with OwlFit was the collaboration they encouraged and the family I felt a part of. "

                 
                Some words of wisdom that Ariana likes to live by "will power is a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets!"

                • Katherine Griffiths Headshot

                  Katherine Griffiths

                  Katherine has been working with Sports and Recreation as an OwlFit group fitness instructor teaching yoga! She has completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree! After graduation, she is planning on spending a month in the Sacred Valley of Peru working towards and obtaining her International Yoga Alliance 200-hour teaching certification!


                  "Joining the OwlFit team was, without a doubt, the best part of my college experience. As a Group Fitness Instructor, I connected with new people in a meaningful way by sharing a practice that brings joy and peace to people from many different walks of life."


                  Quotes Katherine likes to live by: "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all" - Helen Keller

                  • Ethan Wilson Headshot

                    Ethan Wilson

                    Ethan Wilson has been employed with Sports and Recreation as a personal trainer with our OwlFit program! He is graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science. After graduation, he plans to get more experience training clients in preparation for physical therapy school! Overall, he is just excited to get out into the field of exercise medicine and learn more about the human body and movement system.


                    "Although I haven’t been employed by Sports and Recreation for very long, I’ve gotten a good experience of how the operations to maintain the SRAC work and the methods that the trainers at KSU use. Hopefully in the future, I can use some of the templates, cues, exercises and formats that the trainers at KSU use and if I ever am part of running a facility that I have an idea of where to start."

                     
                    Ethan wants current and future KSU students to remember: no matter how hard or impossible it is, never lose sight of your goal.

                  • students mountain biking

                    KSU Club Cycling hits the road and the trails for yearlong competitions. No matter the season, riders compete in road, mountain bike or cycle-cross racing. With about 30 riders, the club has been active as part of the Club Sports program within the Department of Sports and Recreation for a number of years.  
                     
                    Jeremy Carpenter, a mechanical engineering major and president of the KSU Cycling Club, immediately got involved when he began at Kennesaw State University. Carpenter has enjoyed racing throughout his collegiate career. Another KSU Cycling representative Garrett Carman, a freshman marketing major, heard about the club sport through a YouTube video.  He contacted the club shortly after being accepted to KSU to get involved.  
                     
                    Both Carpenter and Carman recommend KSU students participate in Club Sports. They believe it is a great way to get to know more people, especially people who have the same passion. Club Sports gives students the healthy benefits of exercise, but also has opportunities for community service and team building. The KSU Cycling Club regularly participates in trail maintenance, which gives back to the areas in which they ride as well as helps to expand their network with the cycling community outside of the team. Other benefits include the sport acting as a stress reliever from the grind of being a college student – “it really helps take your mind off of things and get away from the rush of school” said Carman.  Both students credit the cycling community to being ‘open arms’ and unique in the fact that it is a supportive atmosphere and a culture unlike any other sport. Races often involve motivational cheers to riders from spectators hailing from various universities. 
                     
                    With mountain bike season ending, the Cycling Club is still flying high after competing at the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals October 11-13 in Big Bear Lake, California. This event pulls together many different riders from across the country in one place and riders get to race on ‘insane’ trails – unlike those available in the Southeastern United States. This isn’t the first experience at the National Competition that the team has had. Seasoned rider, Owen Witcher, was back in the saddle again this year. After a podium finish last year, Witcher had another great experience, placing 7th in dual slalom out of 52 riders and 11th out of 78 in the downhill competition.  The club sent five riders to the competition including: Brendan Bowers, Jeremy Carpenter, Evan Coulter, HunterGatlinn, and Owen Witcher and competed in Downhill and Dual Slalom events.  
                     
                    With the competition being on the other side of the country, the club helped to fund some of the expenses associated with the race. Through jersey sales andKrispyyKremee donut sales, the club helped the team with the race entry fees. The riders said their trip to the Mountain Bike Nationals is one of the best experiences in cycling. The team also was rewarded with stronger bonds and connections with new friends through their cross-country travel.  
                     
                    KSU Club Cycling now looks forward to road racing season, which starts in February, with goals to finish at the top in the club conference championships. Most of all, the club just wants to have the riders compete as they are able and to do so without injury.  
                     
                    The team is always recruiting and is hoping to grow the women’s side of their team in the future. Interested riders just need to know how to ride and have a helmet and a bike! Interested in joining? Email the club at ksucyclingclub@gmail.com and follow along with their season on Instagram at ksucycling
                     
                    Find out more about club sports at KSU!

                  • Roller Hockey Team with TrophyKennesaw State University's Roller Hockey Club Sport Team traveled to Rochester, New York to compete in the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association's National Competition making a solid run and finishing 4th overall in Division 2 after a tough fought battle in the semi-final round.

                    Trystann Chappell, a Junior Finance major and President of the Club, looks back on the 16-3 season with positive memories. After a successful season, the team won the regional tournament giving them the bid to travel to Nationals. The Roller Hockey Club is no stranger to the National tournament, having previous trips to the competition. After the 14 hour drive, the club played one to two games daily making their way to the semi-finals. The last game KSU had the lead of 1-0 the majority of the game. The opponent, California State University at Fullerton, scored with 2 minutes remaining in the third period. With this score bringing the teams to a tie to round off end of regulation. While in overtime,CSUU scored ending the game with a 2-1 lead over KSU.

                    While the end wasn't the result the team was hoping for, the Roller Hockey Club is already looking forward to next season. A few of the team members have graduated and the team is looking to recruit new players. They are also planning on playing in a few tournaments this summer with their eyes set on returning to Nationals again next year.

                    Roller Hockey was established as a club team at KSU in 2006. The game of roller hockey is very fast paced, with only four skaters and goalie competing on each team during competitions. The club practices during the week and occasionally on the weekend at their home rink inSnellvillee, GA and competes against teams like Florida State, Florida Gulf Coast, and Virginia Tech.

                    The club has a laid back atmosphere and considers themselves a tight knit group of friends as well as teammates. Chappell thinks KSU Club Sports is a great opportunity to meet new people and grow as a person. "College is not just about classes. [It is an opportunity to] take your mind off of school while still being involved." Club Sports gives you a chance to do something outside of the classroom and you are able to play something you like to play. Chappell has been playing roller hockey since he was 5 years old, and the opportunity to still play and compete with Club Sports is one of the reasons Chappell chose to attend KSU. He also credits the programs to giving him a chance to develop as a person, learn skills like leadership and fundraising and grow other strengths.

                    For more information on Club Sports, visit: sportsrec.kennesaw.educlubsports or email clubsports@kennesaw.edu for general inquiries.

                    Interested in joining Roller Hockey? EmailTrystann & other club members at kennesawrollerhockey@gmail.com

                  • Student with 4 Intramural Sports champion tshirts

                    Recent graduate, Tanner Hill has the unique distinction of being a 4 time Intramural Ultimate Frisbee Champion. Tanner first got involved with Intramural Sports with his on-campus ministry group, Cru. This group played various sports like kickball and ultimatefrisbeee. In 2015, Tanner joined another Intramural Team, "Just Here for the Shirt", and this is where history was made. First being a co-captain and then a captain the following years ('16, '17, & '18) pressure was on, as the team had never lost the championship. Tanner wanted to keep this tradition alive and had his goals set high. Not letting the pressure get to the team, they keep the competition light and made sure that they were there just to have fun. This strategy seemed to pay off and as the team name suggested, they were successful in winning the coveted Intramural Champion T-Shirt each year.

                    With graduation in the coming days, Tanner wants to encourage KSU students to get involved with Intramural Sports. "It's a great way to meet friends, stay active and have fun while you are doing it." Having the opportunity to play Ultimate Frisbee as an Intramural Sport made Tanner want to stay longer at KSU. He was actively involved with other activities during his time at KSU such as being an officer in the Club Sport Climbing team, an active participant on Nature Bound trips, and working in the Climbing Gym.

                    Congratulations Tanner on your 4-time champion success! Who's ready to take the championship this fall?

                  • 2 students with medals from gymnastics competition

                    Jazminee Woods and Elizabeth Pfaff are all smiles when reflecting on their time competing at Nationals with the KSU Club Gymnastics team. The team, also nicknamed the “flipping owls”, traveled toDaytonaa, FL the weekend of April 11-13, 2019 to compete against other club teams involved with the National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs. The team is not new to competing at Nationals. For Woods, this was her third trip. The club brought 7 of the 10 team members to compete. While it is a competition, Woods and Pfaff stressed that everyone wants each other to do well and are very supportive cheering throughout the day full of events. Competitors included the University of Georgia, University of Florida, Emory, Florida State University, University of Tennessee, University of Kentucky, James Madison University, among others! Having fun is a large part of Nationals, club members were able to interact with peers from other Universities, enjoy some beach time, and even help to break the World Record for the most people completing a standing back tuck at one time.

                    Jazminee Woods, a senior exercise science major, has been part of the team for three years and attributes her time as the “best years of gymnastics ever”. Woods says she went to compete and just have fun. Although finals day was nerve racking, her attitude and skills helped her claim the title of National Champion on the uneven bars and finished 6th place overall. Scores are based on the events of the vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercises. Support from her teammates helped Woods push those nerves aside. The uneven bars are Woods favorite event she loves feeling weightless and free swinging around and between the bars. It was a great way to end her senior year!

                    Elizabeth Pfaff, a freshman exercise science major, also traveled to Florida to compete at Nationals. Pfaff also went not expecting to medal, and just focus on having a good time. However, after working hard all season to get her skills back, she placed 6th on the balance beam. She has been competing in gymnastics since 6 years old and the balance beam has been a favorite event and also her strongest.

                    The club already has their sights set on next season. They plan to focus on repairing their injuries and then will get back to practice and working on developing their skills for next season. Competition usually begins in the fall semester, with a heavier season between January and April. The team’s home gym is North Metro Gymnastics center where practices occur two times per week. If you are looking to join the Club Gymnastics team, reach out to ksugymteam@yahoo.com

                    Both team members can’t recommend joining club sports enough, no matter what the sport! They stress, especially to new students, to get involved. “Club sports helps to keep you active and gives you a group with similarities to bond with.” If nothing else, it’s someone to go to The Commons with! Other perks of club sports include professional development, meeting a lot of new people, having your own workout facility at the Owls Nest, athletic training services.

                    For more information on Club Sports, visit: sportsrec.kennesaw.educlubsports or emailclubsports@kennesaw.edu for general inquires.

                    Follow along with Club Gymnastics updates on Instagram theflippinowls

                  • Student with medal from mountain bike competition

                    Meet Owen Witcher, a member ofKSU's Club Cycling Team, who recently won the mountain biking Dual Slalom and placed 6th in the Downhill at the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships inMissoulaa, Montana. Owen took the podium in Dual Slalom along with several Colorado riders after five rounds of racing.

                    Owen has been shredding since he was 6 years old and started his mountain biking career at 15 years old. The adrenaline rush of mountain biking makes him feel right at home. Owen’s favorite trail to ride is Blankets Creek in Woodstock, Georgia. Owen has been riding with KSU’s Club Cycling team for just over a year and is grateful for their support and fun memories.

                    Congrats on such a big achievement Owen! We can't wait to see you race next mountain biking season! 

                   

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