Kristin Freeman, a freshman on the Hillsdale College track and field team, broke the 19-year-old school high-jump record by jumping 5 feet, 7 ¾ inches (1.72 meters). She was also named GLIAC co-Field Athlete of the Week on Jan. 21, her first con­ference award.

What was your initial reaction when you learned that you’d beaten Hillsdale’s long-standing record for the high jump event?
I saw what the height was at, so I knew it was a school record and I was trying to do my best. And then once I beat it, I got this rush of adren­aline and I was so excited. I felt like I could keep jumping forever, and all my injuries went away. It was a great feeling of excitement. I was in the zone, and I was really proud of my accom­plish­ments at that time. I was also proud of my teammate Maddie Estell: she was jumping with me, and I was just so happy we made it to that point.

How does it feel to be named co-Field Athlete of the Week?
It was very unex­pected at the time. I didn’t expect any­thing to happen from the jump, but once I found out, I was so happy and proud that I could rep­resent my school and felt blessed with the oppor­tu­nities God had given me.

What inspired you to compete on the col­le­giate level?
For me, it was def­i­nitely more gradual. I got to high school and decided to join my sister on the team, where I met a coach that encouraged me to do more than I thought I could. My coach and my parents con­tin­ually sup­ported me throughout the entire process. Their support system influ­enced me to keep going — they helped me believe I could compete on the col­le­giate level. The coaches here also do the same thing. I didn’t have my best meet this past weekend, but my coach reminded me that we came to accom­plish what we’d needed to do for that day. Like this week, it was jumping to jump, not jumping to score.

How did you choose Hillsdale College?
It was kind of unex­pected. I got some­thing in the mail with the statue of George Wash­ington on it, and it had a quote that imme­di­ately appealed to me. My dad had heard about Hillsdale College on the radio and told me more about it, so I thought I might as well give it a chance. On my visit, the unique envi­ronment at the school and how suc­cessful the track program was def­i­nitely influ­enced my decision. I knew it would be uncom­fortable in the sense that I didn’t know anyone coming in and it was so far away from home, but I felt com­fortable enough when I visited that I knew I would be fine. I knew this is where God wanted me.

Do you have any pro­jected majors or minors?
When I came in, I wanted to be a theatre major because I’ve been acting, singing, and dancing since I was eight years old. Last fall, I was an extra in the Shake­speare play, “Twelfth Night.” But all my friends are psy­chology majors, and the way they talk about it and they way it’s influ­enced them has inspired me. So I’m taking my first psy­chology class this semester, but I’m still open to taking some of the arts classes.

What are your interests outside of track?
Theatre and arts are my main interest. I also take vocal lessons here, so I’m into singing. And then I was a dancer: I espe­cially love ballet, tap, any of the clas­sical styles. Any of the visual arts too. I love to draw and craft.

What helps men­tally prepare you for an event?
It’s changed a lot over the years. On the bus ride down and as I’m walking to the sports complex, I listen to music and get into a zone. Once I’m there I don’t listen to any­thing: I absorb all the sounds and get com­fortable in the envi­ronment. Lately, before I jump I visu­alize what I will be doing, my goals, what I’m sup­posed to be doing for that meet. Then I do a couple warm-up jumps, and right before I jump Maddie and I will say a quick prayer. I pray for Him to give me sports­manlike conduct and to be open to the support around me.

How has being a part of the track team impacted your freshman year?
At the beginning of the year, they were my first friends. They’re built-in friends, made of people that blend well with the rest of the team. We all have our hearts in the same place: to compete for Hillsdale track and field, but also we have our fun, like with Super Smash Brothers tour­na­ments.

What are your goals for the rest of the season?
At the beginning of the season, Coach Miller had us write down our goals for the season. Some of my per­for­mance goals were to get the indoor school record, top five in the GLIAC con­ference meet — that’s probably my next goal — and to con­sis­tently jump one meter, 60 cen­timeters at meets. I’d also like to become No. 1 in the nation, because right now I’m at No. 2 — that would be a dream goal of mine.

What are your goals for your next three years?
Def­i­nitely one of them would be to become All-American in high jump. The thought is surreal — to be one of the top division jumpers in the nation — but it would be an awesome goal to accom­plish.

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Hillsdale track team?
It keeps me on track with my time. My entire schedule is struc­tured and solid­ified, which ends up giving me more time to do homework and study and do whatever else I’d like to do. Because of this, the thought of waking up and knowing I have track practice makes me realize what a blessing it is, an oppor­tunity to serve God.