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The Antelope

The Antelope

Two sports, twice the demand

Not many are blessed with the ability to compete in two sports, or the time management skills to balance sports with school, but Loper Micheala Hoffman has found a way to make it work.

Enrique Alvarez
Antelope Staff

Imagine this. You are a full-time student with a full-time job that lasts for 3-4 months. For that job you must wake up and get to work at 6 a.m. You have class at 8, and you might have to wait for your meeting room to be cleared out by another group of workers before you can get in and begin your process.

After that you must find time to do your homework and maybe sneak in some social time — but also get enough sleep. Also, don’t forget the business trips to other states twice a week every other week where you and your co-workers must show everyone how well your boss has prepared you.

Now, after you are finished with that job, you have a week or two to recover, be a normal student, attend class, enjoy social time and get plenty of sleep.

The next week, you start a new job you will work through the end of the year; this one with even later hours.  Every weekend you leave your home to go to another city and present your work to others.

This is the life of a two-sport athlete in collegiate athletics. More specifically, this is the life of Micheala Hoffman, a soccer and track athlete from Fruita, Colorado, playing outside forward/center forward for the Loper soccer team and competing in the 100m and 400m hurdles for the Loper track team.

Hoffman, a sophomore with an undetermined major, decided during her college search that she wanted to do both sports at the college level. “I couldn’t pick which one I liked, or wanted to do, over the other. So I just thought, why not just do both?” Hoffman says with a smile and laugh.

An 11-time varsity letter winner in four different sports in high school, Hoffman stayed busy at Fruita Monument High School as she was a member of the cross country and swimming teams as well. Even though she was a member of the XC and swimming teams, Hoffman says her favorite sport aside from the two she currently competes in was basketball because cross country and swimming were “…terrible sports in my mind because they were so hard.”

Hoffman has a strong family lineage at UNK; three of her family members are UNK alumni. With her mother as a former student and her two aunts (Carol and Lori Rochford) as former Loper student-athletes, Hoffman was well-prepared for life in Kearney.
As a freshman soccer athlete, Hoffman came into UNK and made an immediate impact playing in all 19 games and recording the second most minutes played in a season for a Loper women’s soccer player.

This past season, she scored her first goal as a Loper in a 2-0 win over William Jewell.

As a track athlete for UNK, Hoffman was selected to the Indoor and Outdoor Conference Team and made the trip with the Lopers as they competed for the MIAA crown during both seasons. Season bests of 14.89 seconds in the 100m hurdles and 1:06.42 in the 400m hurdles came at the outdoor conference meet at Northwest Missouri State University.

Although Hoffman cannot distinguish one sport as her favorite she does have reasons she enjoys each one.

“Soccer— I like the aggressiveness and the team, and track it’s the same with the team. But also, it’s an individual sport, so you really push yourself. Like it’s all on you,” Hoffman says.

Hoffman cannot agree with the idea that one sport’s athletes are in better shape than the others. “With soccer it’s endurance so you have to able to go for 90 minutes, but it’s not necessarily running the whole time. You just gotta keep moving your feet, but with track it’s a different endurance, a shorter amount. It’s more of a mind game,” Hoffman says.

Many athletes are ecstatic to receives offers to continue their favorite sport onto the collegiate level. Not many are blessed with the ability to compete in two or have the time management skills to balance the two along with school, but Micheala Hoffman has found a way to make it work. Two years and six seasons left after the 2016-2017 season ends and Hoffman is showing no signs of slowing down.

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