Several of N.C. Central University’s sports go unnoticed when powerhouse revenue sports like basketball and football overshadow them, but junior Bethany White believes NCCU’s track and field team has the work ethic and momentum to gain the same amount of prestige.
“This year’s team is looking really good; we have a lot of potential with the freshman,” she says. “I hope that we can get more people to actually come out and support the track team.”
The team has found it difficult to draw crowds due to the lack of home games. NCCU doesn’t have the proper accommodations to host a collegiate meet.
The track itself — often referred to as the “practice field” — is separated from the football field and only has one set of bleachers. Much of the equipment, like its blocks, hurdles and pole vault pits are either missing or broken.
“We work extremely hard,” White says. “We don’t have an indoor facility. During indoor season, when it’s freezing, we still have to come out here and train.”
Despite those shortcomings, the Gaithersburg, Md. native hopes that fans can still come out and support some of their games.
White competes in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and relay. On top of breaking several personal records during her collegiate career and placing high in regional meets, Bethany was featured as MEAC Athlete of the Week last March for her MEAC record-breaking performance of 11.84 seconds for the 100-meter dash at the 2017 Raleigh Relays.
She juggles being a star athlete with the rigorous demands of college life as a mass communication major. Last semester, her hard work paid off when making her dreams of broadcast reporting a reality with an internship with WNCN (CBS).
“My schedule was hectic, but I shadowed reporters,” Bethany says. “I was able to be mentored by media journalists like Derrick Lewis.”
One of White’s proudest non-academic accomplishments at NCCU has been following the legacy of her mother and becoming a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, describing the experience as being a “blessing.”
“We’re ready to revamp the campus because Alpha Chi [NCCU’s chapter] has been gone for a long time,” she says. “It’s all about our programs, community service and uplifting women at this school and in the community.”
With only a year left, Bethany has plans to excel even further both on and off the track: “I plan to flourish, shock the world and stay positive.”