Tonyelle Temple is a sophomore nursing major at William Jewell College who enjoys going out to dance and to eat in her free time. She really values her family and how she can be a role model to her sisters. Besides studying to be a nurse, she’s on the track team, has two jobs and is a member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority.
She said that her middle school gym teacher and her mom were the ones who talked her into track, even though she was reluctant in the beginning. She said that, in the end, what made her change her mind about track was realizing how good she was.
“The first time I ran was 400 meter dash and I won, and I was like, this is for me! I ran 1:07 as a seventh grader. It was really cool,” she said.
Temple broke a new record this semester and said that each record she breaks is a different feeling. When she was a junior in high school, she broke the record for the 400 meter hurdles, and since that was the begging of her track career, she used it as a sign to keep going. The 600 yard Jewell record was a real surprise to her, since that was only her second time running a 600 yard.
“The first time I ran, I was in a heat by myself and I won my heat easily, and my coach texted me, he was like, ‘Hey do you know you can beat this record if you go .3 faster?’, and I was like, oh my God, only gotta go .3 faster? And I go .4 seconds faster. That was pretty awesome,” she said.
Being a student athlete it’s not easy, and Temple pointed out the struggles of being on the track team. She said the hardest part on is having mental toughness. She adds that the track season is all year round and how hard it is to miss classes every Friday and still stay on top.
“And at Jewell, like, you’re held to the same standards as people who are not in a sport, so you got to go overboard. And having a job, just like paying bills, being in a sorority, it’s a lot. So you have to be mentally tough,” Temple said.
But, like everything in life, there is also a good side of being on the track team.
“I love my track team. I feel like they are my family. I love breaking records with them, I love traveling with them and going through stuff with them. I love being around them,” she said.
Temple holds her family dearly to her heart, and they are her great inspiration. She said she acknowledges how her sisters look up to her and she wants to let them know that they can also go to college someday.
“They don’t have many role models in my family, so I love being their role model. And whenever I go back home she’s like ‘How is your sorority? How’s school? How’s track?’ acting so interested,” she said.
She also points out how proud her family is, mentioned how her grandpa always tells her she’s becoming everything he wanted her to be. She said her family is what makes her fight the difficulties and keep running.
“I think they just keep pushing me to do better and get better. And everytime I get an A on a test I’m like ‘Yeah! They would be so proud of me.’ Everytime I break a record I’m like ‘Yes! [They’re] going to be so proud of me.’ And just that makes me keep going no matter what, even when I feel like stopping.” she said.
Temple will be running this Friday at the NCAA Division II Indoor National Championships. The championships will be held March 9-10 in Pittsburg, Kansas at the Robert W. Plaster Center.
Photo by Mykala Crews.