Audrey Hazlehurst, a graduate student in her first year of pharmacy school has been a member of the women’s cross country team for the past three years. A Jackson native, Hazlehurst has been running competitively for 12 years.
“I love running cross country because it is such a great feeling when my mind and body are working together to achieve a goal. It is also freeing when I need to escape from the busyness of a day,” said Hazlehurst.
It seems only fitting that a phrase that inspires Hazlehurst is Nike’s slogan, “Just do it.” Hazlehurst’s mentality to just do it helps her focus on the reasons why she gets up at 5 a.m. every morning for 5:45 a.m. practices.
“Running can bring out the best in me at times, and when it doesn’t, to challenges me to work harder to do better,” Hazlehurst added on why it is worth it to get up so early in the mornings.
An avid Tennessee Volunteers football fan, Hazlehurst loves football movies like The Blind Side and Remember the Titans. Hazlehurst’s favorite professional athlete is Mike Keflezighi, winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon. Someone else who inspires her is her mom, Jackie.
In 2012, Hazlehurst placed first at the Union Invitational and in 2011 qualified for Nationals. In 2013, she was named to the Gulf South Conference Academic Honor Roll.
This year Hazlehurst’s goals for herself include running a personal record of under 18:30 in a 5k race. As a team, Hazlehurst hopes to qualify for Nationals which would mean her team would need to place in the top three of 20 Division II teams at the regional race in Huntsville, Ala. on Nov. 22.
When she is not running, Hazlehurst enjoys playing the violin and hanging out with friends, as she is also a member of Chi Omega. If she had to choose another sport besides cross country, Hazlehurst would play soccer.
Alex Pratt, a senior marketing major is a forward on the men’s soccer team. Another Jackson native, Pratt has played soccer for 13 years and even played for the Chattanooga Football Club, a member of the National Premiere Soccer League in 2013.
“I love soccer because it is a sport where hard work can beat talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” said Pratt. “There is passion and love that goes beyond just the game.”
“My favorite professional athlete is Michael Jordan because of his determination to win along with his work ethic meeting the talent he possesses,” Pratt added.
Pratt has really enjoyed his time at Union as a soccer player because of the relationships he has been able to make with his teammates and the memories they have made together. Pratt’s favorite memory was his sophomore year when his team went to Nationals in Kissimmee, Fla.
During his sophomore year, Pratt was named National Christian Colleges Association Player of the Week. In 2013, Pratt was named to the Gulf South Conference Academic Honor Roll. Pratt’s favorite pre game meal is Lenny’s sub sandwiches and his favorite sports movie is Space Jam, “Ten times out of ten,” said Pratt.
Someone who inspires Pratt is Matt Chandler, a pastor from Fort Worth, Texas and author of The Explicit Gospel.
Off the field Pratt is a member of Lambda Chi Alpha. He also coaches soccer at Trinity Christian Academy and enjoys exploring the outdoors with his friends.