For most, high school goes by fast while college goes by even faster.

For most, high school goes by fast while college goes by even faster. 

But for Rebecca Warden, speed has always been her thing. 

The 2018 Plainview High School graduate began her freshman year at Southern Nazarene University running on the cross-country and track team.

“It went by fast,” Warden said. “Between the workouts, studying, andtrying to hang out with friends, I felt really busy at times. It was hard juggling the three around, so I definitely wouldn’t say it was easy, but I am glad freshman year is finished, because I’m looking forward to this summer.” 

This summer, Warden is back home in Ardmore working at Lake Murray Water Sports and shadowing at Excel Therapy.

Given that she is majoring in physical therapy, the internship opportunity is a great benefit for Warden as she moves forward in obtaining her dream job. 

There were many things Warden learned during her first year as a college athlete, specifically the differences in competition between the high school and college level. 

“I learned that competing at another level took a mental and physical toll on me,” Warden said. “I realized that I didn’t know everything that I thought I did.” 

“Everything that I once knew or did wasn’t enough,” Warden added. “So I had to change a lot before I could really get started on college living and competing.”

Warden certainly came to Southern Nazarene with a solid track and cross country resume, as she was a multi-time state qualifier in both sports at Plainview, and was a member of the 2017 Lady Indians state championship cross country team.

Warden was also named the 2018 Girls Track Athlete of the Year at the Best of the Arbuckles preps banquet. 

With SNU less than a few hours from Ardmore, it was easy for Warden to occasionally visit her family on the weekends.

“I was only able to come home every other weekend depending on my schedule,” Warden said. “Towards the beginning, I wanted to go home. Towards the end, I wanted to stay up there.” 

Warden also mentioned how the team bond in college is much different than it was in high school. 

“My bond with this team is so much stronger than it was in high school,” she said. “The races and practices seem more like a friendly competition rather than a fight to the death. Everyone up there was extremely nice and drama-free. The team was basically family.”

“It was always fun hanging out with the team outside of practice,” Warden added. “We always ate in the cafeteria together every other night. Not because we were requiredto, but because we wanted to. I love those people and look forward to seeing them in the fall.”