Texas native and UCA senior, Walter Reed, began running in middle school, but he wasn’t only a part of the track and field team.

“I’d probably play football if I wasn’t a runner,” said Reed. “I played football, track and soccer, but I chose to just stick with track.”

Reed began running eight years ago.

“I just tried it out in middle school, and then I ended up being pretty good at it, and that’s when I started to fall in love with it,” said Reed.

As a mid-distance runner, Reed achieved his personal best times of 1:59 in the 800 meter race and 4:43.50 in his mile race during the 2019-2020 season.

On the way to every meet, Reed likes to listen to a specific playlist he created to get ready for his races.

“It’s filled with songs that pump me up and get me in the right mindset,” he said.

Right now, his favorite song on the playlist is ‘Pain Away’ from Meek Mill’s album, ‘Quarantine Pack.’

After a successful meet, Reed’s go-to celebration is “eating something unhealthy and hanging out with friends.” After a disappointing meet, his routine isn’t much different.

“I’m usually hanging out either way after a meet. If I personally did bad, maybe just kind of keep to myself and listen to music,” he said.

His advice to beginning runners and those looking to pursue running through college is “definitely consistency.”

“It’s the biggest thing for improvement; you just have to get out there every day and just work,” Reed said.

When it comes to being a student-athlete, Reed says time management is the most important.

“You just have to learn to manage your time. When you do have free time, just kind of use it to relax and enjoy it.”

Reed’s major is exercise science, and he is applying to UCA’s Physical Therapy program within the next year.

Reed has known pursuing PT was his goal for quite a while now.

“It kind of came from running track, and then getting injured quite often,” said Reed. “That’s how I found the passion for it.”

During his eight years of running, Reed has experienced everything from pulled muscles to stress fractures.

Reed chose to come to UCA from Fort Worth, Texas because of the school’s PT program, but also because of how he felt about UCA’s track team.

“I really liked the track team. When I took my visit, out of all the places, they had the people most similar to me,” said Reed. “I got along with them really well on my visit.”

Running isn’t something Reed plans on quitting after college.

“After my eligibility is up, and if the opportunity presents itself, I would run professionally,” he said. “However, professionally or not, after my collegiate career is over, I will still continue to run and see myself as a lifelong runner.”

Other than being a part of the track team, Reed is also a member of the corn hole team.

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