Feb. 24, 2010
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -
Junior LaTerrica Blocker and her USC Upstate track and field teammates will travel to Johnson City, Tenn. this weekend for the Atlantic Sun Conference Indoor Championships. The two-day event will begin on Friday morning.
In the Spartans last meet, the UNC Invitational on Feb. 12, Blocker set a new school record in the shot put. Blocker recorded a school-record toss of 37-08.11/11.48m en route to a sixth-place finish.
At last season's A-Sun Indoor Championships, Blocker finished eighth overall in the shot put. She recorded a mark of 36-11.00/11.25m.
Blocker recently talked with Alex Edwards of upstatespartans.com to discuss this weekend's A-Sun Championships as well as her time in Spartanburg.
With this being the third season of the Upstate program, what are the expectations for the team at this weekend's A-Sun Championships?
Everyone will give it their all and do their absolute best. A personal or school record at every meet is what we always strive for. We have the talent and drive to compete with the other teams in our conference and because of that I feel that we can have a really strong performance this weekend.
You compete in several different events, which do enjoy the most and why?
Of all the events that I compete in, I would have to say that the weight throw is my favorite. I have learned so much about the event under the guidance of Coach Colton Hodge. He has taught me so much and has really opened my eyes to everything that goes into this one particular event. It is very difficult, but I feel that the rewards vastly outweigh the pain.
What are your individual goals for this weekend?
Like everyone else, I want to win. I will give everything I have in each event so that I can try to help my team win a team championship. I also want to try to set some personal marks as well as some school records this weekend.
What has been your most memorable moment during your time here at Upstate?
My freshman year it snowed for a few days in a row. One of my friends lived in the area and owned a four-wheel drive vehicle and we were able to take the vehicle off-road and it was a lot of fun.
If you were not a track and field athlete, what sport do you think you would play and why?
I have always loved basketball and I would have loved to play on the collegiate level. However, track and field has become my favorite sport during my time here at Upstate. I still play basketball for fun from time to time, but track and field is where my heart is now.
Of all the classes you have taken, which has been your favorite and why?
My English 101 course that I took my freshman year was and still remains my favorite class. Dr. Peter Caster is an amazing professor and he really got me to think outside the box. He focused more on teaching about life rather than just words from a text book.
What is one thing that people may not know about head coach Jimmy Stephens?
I remember one time that he refused to go into his office because there was a squirrel in there. The squirrel made his home in Coach Stephens' office for a couple of days and it took six people to catch it and put it back outside.
If you could spend the day with any athlete, who would you choose and why?
Without a doubt, I would love to spend the day with my favorite athlete, Candace Parker. Parker currently plays for the L.A. Sparks in the WNBA and she was an All-American selection at Tennessee. She is a tremendous athlete and is my inspiration for all that I do in sports.
If your teammates were to use one adjective to describe you, what do you think they would choose and why?
They would probably say crazy. I do a lot of random things, whether it is at practice or on road trips. I enjoy making jokes and I love to have a good time with all of my teammates.
If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you like to go and why?
I would love to go to Africa. I have always wanted to go and since some of my family came from there I think it is important to know your roots and heritage.