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Exercise became competitive passion

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De Anza track athlete Cheianne Armstrong, 19, meteorology major, originally joined a track team in eighth grade to lose weight, but wound up discovering her passion for competition.

In high school, she competed in both cross country and track, but after excelling in sprints and jumps, Armstrong shifted her focus to track. She represents De Anza in the following events: 100-meter sprint, 200-meter sprint, 4×400 relay and triple jump.

Unlike some athletes who have pre-meet traditions, Armstrong stays away from such routines.

“I don’t even like wearing the same socks or the same sports bras at meets,” she said. “I compete with my own abilities that way.”

Prior to meets, she prefers to carry on her life as usual, practicing ways to calm nerves.

“I try not to think too hard about the meet the day before because I think it would psych me out,” she said. “I usually visualize all my races the day before, so that I feel less anxious on the day of.”

Before races, Armstrong takes deep breaths and holds them for as long as she can.

“It helps me to think that it increases my lung capacity so that when I feel like I’m dying out in the race, I still have some air left in me to push forward,” she said.

Despite the stress, Armstrong said she aspires to break her own personal records this season.

Like any other student on campus, Armstrong also has to juggle her time as a college student. Among her academics, track schedule, work hours and her personal hobbies of attending concerts like Ariana Grande’s, Armstrong works hard to accommodate to each part of her life.

“One thing I always tell myself is that I’m not going to go out there and not do my best,” she said. “I could be doing other stuff. I could be sleeping or doing my homework, but I choose to come out here and do track everyday. At meets, I make sure I do all I can because if I don’t, what’s the point of all those hours of practice?”

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