North Central College track and field star Jocelyn Redlinski has had herself a collegiate career-best season as she approaches the end of her senior year.
Throughout the course of her 2014 campaign, Redlinski achieved seven personal bests including indoor marks for the 200-meter dash, 60-meter hurdles, high jump, long jump, and pentathlon as well as outdoor marks in events such as 100-meter hurdles and long jump.
Other notable accomplishments include placing first in high jump at the Cardinal Opener and eventually becoming the College’s first multi-event All-American at the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships where she placed eighth in pentathlon.
“This season has gone well,” said Redlinski. “It hasn’t been a perfect one, but you can never ask for that.”
For the Orchard Park, NY, native, track and field has played a vital role in her life growing up as well as her development into the driven athlete she is today.
“I’ve been in love with it since a fifth-grade summer camp. I love the one-on-one competitiveness that comes from it. It’s an individual sport but still very team oriented at the same time,” said Redlinski. “It’s always been that constant thing in my life that was my stress reliever and escape. When all else was going wrong, track would turn things around. It’s very much a sport where you get in what you get out.”
Coming in as a first-year competitor in 2011, Redlinski was both optimistic and nervous about starting her career at the College.
“Freshman year was exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time,” she said. “I was very excited to be competing at [the collegiate]level but it was hard knowing there were a decent amount of expectations of me considering my high school marks coming in. I was concerned with not living up to my coaches expectations.”
However, as the years went by, her physical abilities flourished and so did her mental mindset.
“I think my biggest difference is just confidence, and two things have really helped with this. One is my high jump and hurdle coach [Tom Roderick]. He has preached to us that it’s not in the thinking, wishing, wanting or hoping; it is knowing,” said Redlinski. “Being around that atmosphere has really changed me as an athlete. You compete much better when you’re confident in your abilities.”
She goes on to explain the second contributing factor that has been critically essential to her overall success at the College.
“While at school here, my faith in Christianity has grown exponentially,” said Redlinski. “I know that things are within His plan. He is my strength and knowing that I can run with the talents and abilities He has blessed me with has helped so much.”
While Redlinski acknowledges that there are a number of coaches and teammates that have assisted her tremendously over the last four years, a few stand out in particular.
“I would have to say Coach Roderick,” she said. “With me being so far away from home, he’s really been a father figure for me here at the College. He has seen me through tears of excitement and tears of pain and has been so unwaveringly supportive. He’s been a positive influence on me as an athlete and a person. I appreciate that more than words can describe.”
“I also need to mention Taeopae Wetterman. She is my best friend, and I would be lost without her,” said Redlinski. “We both motivate each other to be at our best, and I know I wouldn’t be the same athlete I am today without her.”
“She really taught me the importance of relaxing and having fun with track. She’s shown me that we do this sport because we love it, and it shouldn’t be a stress in our life.”
For Redlinski, it’s important to realize how lucky she is to be doing something that she relishes so much. Therefore, she leaves other track and field athletes with this message.
“It goes by so fast. Don’t stress so much about results, don’t get frustrated with coaches and get to know your teammates,” she said. “You’re doing this because you love it, so enjoy every single second of it.”
When asked to sum up the level of satisfaction for her four-year, accumulative performance as a North Central Cardinal track and field athlete, she had this to say.
“I have no regrets at all. I know that there is always more I could have done. In track, the athlete never really wins, we never beat the clock and the bar is always raised no matter how high we jump,” said Redlinski. “So from that standpoint, I will never be completely happy with how I’ve done.
“However, knowing where I started and knowing where I am now, I’ve improved so much, and I definitely won’t look back. I’m going to finish things off at the nationals meet in a big way though. I’m not done yet.”
From Thursday, May 22 to Saturday, May 24, the 2014 NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships will be taking place in Delaware, Ohio. Redlinski will be competing with high expectations, which she now openly welcomes.