Pedigree:This week’s Pioneer Focus goes to senior cross country runner Tina Oprean, who has recently qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships. Oprean placed third out of 198 competitors at the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championships Saturday, November 9.
Oprean’s season has brought major success to the cross country team. Oprean also was nominated USTFCCCA NCAA Div. II National Athlete of the Week on October 14th this year.
Get to know the student athlete from Canton…
Nickname: Oprean has several nicknames, but the one she is called the most is Tini due to her short stature.
Q: Christmas or Thanksgiving?
A: They both have their ups and downs, but I’d say Christmas for sure because I love the Grinch.
Q: Favorite holiday food?
A: My mom’s homemade cookies because she makes a ton and they’re really good.
Q: Cake or Pie?
A: Pie. Apple Pie.
Q: Best Christmas gift ever?
A: When my parents—well, when “Santa”—bought me a Barbie dream house as well as a Barbie bug like car.
Q: Best aspect about running for Malone?
A: I get to represent my school in a Christ manner. It truly is an atmosphere that centers on God. I enjoy running for my teammates and God and not myself.
Q: If you could be a Disney character, who would you be?
Q: What’s a secret talent you have that nobody knows about?
A: I can talk in a really weird animated voice (chipmunk).
Q: Movie title that describes your life?
A: Without Limits. The phrase Without Limits best describes my life because I’ve always been a person to not have limitations on goals. I have always been a person who keeps persevering through hard times and I don’t limit myself to just anything.
Q: Someone you admire?
A: She’s a former runner for Malone, her name is Rebecca Robinson. I admire her because she was such a great leader for Malone. She set an awesome example and she’s one of the reasons I actually transferred to Malone.
Q: Biggest fear?
A: I hate spiders, they’re gross.
Q: Ideal state to live in after college and why?
A: Probably Colorado or somewhere out west because I love the mountains and I love running and would like to continue that.
Q: Snow or rain?
Q: Biggest superstition?
A: I don’t like to cross the finish line the day before the race. I WILL NOT pass the finish line.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: I see myself married and hopefully successful in sports journalism and possibly still running.
Follow the cross country runner @tinao11