By Debbie Prince
Seven years ago, a petite brunette soccer player from Littleton, Colo., who said she was too small for soccer, took her dad’s advice to quit [soccer] and began running. She joined cross country and did so well that she “just kept running,” she said.
That former soccer player turned runner is twenty-year-old Natosha Rogers ’13, a junior in the Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications department. Rogers’ decision to “just keep running” has resulted in five of Texas A&M’s women’s track records being broken. Rogers has broken a school record in every meet she has competed in this indoor season.
In the 5,000 meter race in New York last week, she ran a time of 15:58.40, beating the eight-year-old school record of 16:02.72 set by Melissa Gulli at the 2004 NCAA Indoor meet, Rogers missed the NCAA nationals automatic qualifier mark of 15:57.00.
“Yeah, I missed the auto qualifier time by 1 second this past weekend for nationals but I still will probably go [to nationals] because the top 18 make it and I’m ranked No. 2 right now, but that’ll change soon,” Rogers said. “But nothings for sure, I might not even get to nationals if people decide to start running real fast,” Rogers laughed.
Rogers said she likes to prepare for a race a whole week in advance by working out in the pool at the rec, while listening to her underwater iPod.
“I get pretty pumped up in there [the pool],” Rogers said. “And closer to the race I try not to think too much because you can definitely like freak yourself out mentally.”
Though Rogers describes herself as a mellow person, she said you won’t find mellow music on her workout playlist.
“I like Eminem. He always gets me pumped up. 50 Cent. That’s kind of embarrassing,” Rogers laughed, “and Pretty Lights. They have great pump up music,” Rogers said.
Rogers isn’t the only runner in her family. Her older sister runs for Vanderbilt’s track & field team, which Rogers said helped her run toward Texas A&M.
“I just wanted to go my own direction and A&M appealed to me more,” Rogers said.
Even though Rogers and her sister aren’t in the same conference, they’ve had to compete against each other in the past and Rogers said she’s sure they’ll compete again this outdoor season.
“We’ve been racing since high school,” Rogers said. “It’s not like competitive in a bad way, it’s the really healthy competition and we’re always happy for each other.”
Rogers said when she came to Texas A&M she knew she wanted to be in the agricultural communications and journalism field, but she thought it wasn’t a good idea because of the economy.
“I tried to do the whole business thing and it did not work out,” Rogers said. “And one of the advisers just told me that I should just definitely do what I originally wanted to do and I’m really glad that I did because it’s a lot more fun.”
Being a student athlete who is breaking records and getting a lot of media exposure is helping Rogers to prepare for a field in agricultural communications and journalism, she said.
“It’s helping me learn how to talk, and deal with loads of pressure and cameras in my face,” Rogers said. “So it’s really preparing me for what I’m trying to do later on.”
Rogers is in her third year of running for Texas A&M’s women’s track & field team and was named Big 12’s female track & field athlete of the week Feb. 7.
After breaking five consecutive records, for the mile (4:50.06 on Jan. 14, and 4:45.84 on Jan. 21), the 3,000-meter (9:12.83), the 5,000-meter (15:58.40), and anchoring the distance medley relay (11:29.89), Rogers said she needs to mentally and physically take it easy and is now focused on the Big 12 meet and ultimately qualifying for nationals.
“We have Big 12 [Indoor Track & Field Championships] in two weeks so that’s the next step and the coaches are expecting me to do well there first,” Rogers said.
As one of Rogers’ go-to music motivators Eminem would say, “Feet fail me not.”