Bulldogs in the Spotlight: Alyssa Osika, CCTF

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Alyssa Osika

Bulldogs in the Spotlight, Vol.7
by David Silversmith

Bulldogs in the Spotlight is a new mini-series bringing Ferris State fans intense, intimate, and intriguing interviews to help them get to know the Ferris State Student-Athletes. In this seventh volume, we will help you get to know Ferris State Cross Country and Track middle distance runner Alyssa Osika.

Alyssa is from Waterford, Michigan. She is currently in her second year of Ferris State’s School of Pharmacy. Alyssa contributed to the cross country and track teams immediately by helping the women’s qualify for the national meet for all four of her cross country campaigns. She finished 104th, 73rd, 54th, and 104th,  She also was an all-conference selection her senior season by placing 8th at the GLIAC Championships. In Track and Field, Alyssa sits 4th on the all-time 800m indoor list at 2:13.68. She also sits 4th on the all-time outdoor 800m at 2:11.96 and 5th on the all-time 1500m at 4:31.09.  Alyssa also contributed to the school record Distance Medley Relay team in 2012. Here is the interview with Bulldog senior Alyssa Osika!

David:
Alysaa, thank you for taking the time to talk with me on this snowy day.
Alyssa:
You’re welcome.

David:
Let’s start off by talking about how you got started in running.
Alyssa:
Well, if you are a part of the Osika family, you are going to be a runner. Both of my parents were Oylmpic Trials athletes. It’s not really an option.

David:
When is your first memory of running then?
Alyssa:
Well my sister, Shannon, and I would stretch with our dad before in the living room when we were really young. Then he would run with us around our neighborhood. I remember doing a local one mile fun run when I was three years old.

David:
Wow, what did running at an early age do for you then?
Alyssa:
When you run, you get placed with people that have similar interests as you do. Runners seem to gravitate toward each other. It’s like you are handed a group of friends and it ends up working out well. Running also begins to teach you work ethic, time management, and leadership as well.

David:
So go into middle school running. What did running do for you as you grew up?
Alyssa:
Well, it helped me stay out of trouble. It kept me on the right track. Middle school seems to be that age where you begin to make your own decision that can affect the rest of your life. It’s the earliest people seem to go off track.

David:
and high school?
Alyssa:
The team is a main emphasis. I had so much fun in high school with my team. And all of my qualities, such as work ethic, time management, and leadership, really were developed then.

David:
When did you believe you could take your running to the next level?
Alyssa:
I always wanted to run competitively. I just didn’t know at what level and where at for awhile. For me, school always was before running. So I had limited choices then with school. For my parents and my sister, it has always been run first, school second. I looked at schools first.

David:
So if schools were first, then what brought you to Ferris?
Alyssa:
Well, I wanted to study pharmacy. There are only three pharmacy schools in the state of Michigan: U of M, Wayne State, and Ferris State. U of M required that I walked on. Wayne State wasn’t the greatest place to run in. That left me with Ferris.

David:
How has running at Ferris been?
Alyssa:
It’s tough. I’ve tried to balance school, running, and social life. It’s hard work.

David:
Like the saying goes, “Pick two.”
Alyssa:
Exactly. Pharmacy is tough because I devote so much time to studying that I have to back off my training. I can’t over-do it. I have to prioritize what I am doing.

David:
Well, let’s get off the topic of running for a bit and talk about some of your favorite things.
Alyssa:
I’m not good at this.

David:
I’ll keep a short list then. Let’s start with color!
Alyssa:
Pink.

David:
Food?
Alyssa:
Pasta. All Pasta.

David:
Vacation spot?
Alyssa:
This is where I can’t make a decision.

[After a minute or so pause]

Colorado?

David:
Okay, what about your favorite movie?
Alyssa:
The Notebook.

David:
What about music?
Alyssa:
Taylor Swift.

David:
Do you have a favorite sports team?
Alyssa:
Nope.

David:
What about vehicle?
Alyssa:
No.

[slight pause again]

No. Wait. Mini Cooper!

David:
[laughing] Okay, we can stop the favorites. Let’s go back running at Ferris. Who is your saving grace on the team? The person who is always there.
Alyssa:
Erika Roe. She’s always there. She cares for me. She’s a great friend. I’ve met people who seem friendly but end up being nosy, but Erika isn’t like that. She’s genuine. On my worst days, she’s someone I can relate to.

David:
That’s great stuff. So being in pharmacy, you’ll be going to Grand Rapids next year as a P3 student. Will you still run?
Alyssa:
I’ll run for me. Maybe a four mile here and there. I’ll also take a decent size break. Some people get done with running and go straight into marathons. I don’t want to do that. Maybe someday but not this soon. I want to stay in shape and do a couple road races. One thing is for sure, I’ll run for me.

David:
Sounds like the life. Let’s talk about how your family has helped you come this far in running and in life. Any thoughts?

[L-R] Shea Van Klompenberg, Alyssa Osika, Zoey Hohmann, Breeann Ovokaitys. All-American Distance Medley Relay.

[L-R] Shea Van Klompenberg, Alyssa Osika, Zoey Hohmann, Breeann Ovokaitys. All-American Distance Medley Relay.

Alyssa:
For running, my parents are just like me. They were both middle distance runners and that’s nice because they have been where I have, right down to the races. They can be hard on me but they always give me the right advice. I enjoy it because it’s not like other running parents who say, “you did good anyway!’ after a terrible race.

David:
That’s how my mom started. Then she figured it out. I know what you mean.
Alyssa:
Exactly, it has pushed me to be better everyday. Especially with my sister running collegiate as well now.

David:
So how has Ferris helped you in the past five years to help you get where you are right now?
Alyssa:
Well, it’s led me to my program. I felt like I received clarification here. I know now that I’m in the right professional field. Running, I was on the team right away. I didn’t have to walk on and wait to compete. That what made Ferris a perfect fit.

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