HINSDALE, N.H. — Distraught.
That’s how Juliana Yialiades described how she felt after learning that she would have to quarantine for 15 days when one of her Keene State College cross-country teammates tested positive for COVID-19 this fall.
“I went from having an opportunity where I was going to compete for the first time at the collegiate level to it being taken away from me so soon,” said the Hinsdale High School graduate, whose team was about to go up against Plymouth State at the time. “I felt distraught, but it also lit a fire in me for my return to campus.”
She would then participate in her team’s lone competition of the season, placing 28th overall in that meet in a time of 25:34. The Owls took the bronze, behind Eastern Connecticut and Rhode Island College.
“I got to experience my pre-race rituals and then the pre-race nerves and excitement and my favorite experience from getting to race with the team, which was being able to put on my new race kit,” the freshman said.
Yialiades, who had helped the Hinsdale girls cross-country team win the Granite State Conference Championship for the first time in program history, set a new personal record when doing her two-mile time trial at KSC.
“I ran in new areas of Keene and on some very scenic trails with the foliage in full bloom,” she recalls. “I really have appreciated the work that coach Paige (Mills) puts into all of our workouts, long runs and training plans. She has motivated me to push myself and she always brings such positivity to everything we all do.”
The Nutrition major has taken classes such as Essentials of Nutrition and Public Speaking during her first semester. She even decided to become a vegetarian after completing her Food, Health and Environment course.
“My courses went quite well,” said Yialiades, who recently took her final exams. “I got the opportunity to be in person for a majority of the courses, which I preferred.”