While some students may use their majors to prepare for careers after college, TCU track and field sprinter Ronnie Baker uses his to help him win races.
The first-year kinesiology major said what he learns in class helps him on the track.
“It’s really exciting to know what’s wrong or what’s moving or what joints are being activated when I run,” Baker said.
Baker competes in four different events, including the 100, 200 and 400-meter dash and the 4×400-meter relay.
Baker said running many events is strenuous, but the hard work is good for his classes. Even when Baker is injured or hurt, his treatment with athletic trainer Ryan Houser helps him study for tests.
“When he [does] treatment on me, he would tell me what part [of my body] was moving and what was activated, and that really helped in class,” Baker said.
Although he is unsure of what he wants to do in the future, he said he enjoys hs major now because it supports his running.
Baker competed in five indoor meets and all of the outdoor meets this season. As a first-year student, he believes he is already making his mark at the university.
He placed fifth at the Big 12 Championships in the 400-meter dash and is part of the university's top 4×400-meter dash relay team, consisting of two other first-year students and a sophomore.
“I think it’s really good for us because down the line, since we’re so young, we have so much potential," Baker said. "I think that getting that experience now will help us when we get to be seniors."
Head coach Darryl Anderson said he is looking forward to how the relay team will improve as the sprinters get more experience.
Although the 4×400 relay team did not qualify for the NCAA Championships, Baker said this season has helped them realize that they can keep up with the competition.
“We showed ourselves that we can actually compete and run fast times and I think that’s really a confidence boost for all of us," Baker said. "I think that will really help all of us moving forward."
Baker said the 4×400 relay is his favorite event because it is exciting, but that he prefers running the shorter races.
Baker said training for both the 400-meter dash and sprints have helped him compete better. He also said the workouts for the 400-meter dash improve his strength, while the sprint workouts are shorter.
Baker said balancing workouts and school has been the most challenging part about college so far.
“It’s more of a maturity process and it’s hard, but I think that with the certain requirements that we have for study halls hours really helps me to balance both track and school,” Baker said.
He said the upperclassmen on the track team have helped with this transition. Charles Silmon gives him advice about technique and Joshua Washington encourages him for tough races.
Baker said Washington pumps him up before races and calms his ne
“You always find a way to get through it, get through the nerves and just go out and perform,” Baker said.
Despite the nerves, Baker said he enjoys running at the big meets.
“I like it because the competition is really good and I like to challenge myself," he said. "People challenge you so you can get better.”