Thursday's Conversation With New Mexico's Charlotte Arter
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Welcome to Thursday’s Conversation. Each week, one Mountain West student-athlete will be featured by answering a series of questions.
Stopping by this week is New Mexico’s Charlotte Arter. The senior from Carlisle, England, is fresh off her victory at the Notre Dame Invitational, where she finished the 5K course in a record-setting time of 16:09.03. For her efforts, she was named the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I Women’s National Athlete of the Week on Oct. 6.
Buoyed by Arter’s individual win, New Mexico would go on to claim the team title at the Notre Dame Invitational and move up to No. 11 in the latest USTFCCCA National Coaches’ Poll. The Lobos are off this week but return to action Oct. 17 as they compete in the Wisconsin Invitational.
Question: A big week for you last week with a win at the Notre Dame Invitational. This was your third year running the course, do you feel that prior experience helped you, and what was your mindset heading into the race?
Answer: : I definitely think having raced the two previous years helped me last week; I had a better understanding of how the race would go. My training going into the race had went really well, my fitness levels were good and I was hoping to finish near the top. I did better than I thought, which was a nice surprise.
Q: Not only did you win the Notre Dame Invitational, but you set a course record in the process. What did you think when you learned you had broken the previous record?
A: I was just really happy to run a good race and didn’t think my time would be that quick at all. I had a really positive start. The first mile always goes out fast and I definitely felt the pace but then things slowed down at the two-mile mark. I felt comfortable with one kilometer to go and had that urge to make my move and put a gap on the field. You always worry about going too soon but I showed that I had enough strength to finish.
Q: New Mexico has become a national presence in both cross country and track and field the last seven years. Does that put extra pressure on you to live up to that, or does it provide extra motivation?
A: I think it provides motivation, not extra stress. We have more depth this year on the women’s team and we’re really excited about putting everything together the last month of the season. I think we have the ability to break into the top-10 at nationals. The Conference races are always fun and it is definitely motivation to keep that winning streak going.
Q: You, Chloe Anderson and Adam Bitchell were all at the University of Wales Institute. How did the three of you know each other then and how did you all manage to wind up in Albuquerque, New Mexico?
A: I’d say we knew each other quite well. We all had the same coach (James Thie) back home and we trained together for three years. I live with Chloe my last year there and we’ve been great friends. All of us were all interested in coming to America and coach Franklin had been talking to our coach. New Mexico really presented the best opportunity to all of us and we decided to come out here together. It was nice to be able to do that together and knowing some people from your home country when making such a big move made the transition a little easier.
Q: When you first came over to America, what stood out as different from what you were used to in England in terms of training?
A: Well, the biggest difference was the weather. Back in Cardiff, we were training in a small group; there weren’t as many team competitions, it was more individual-based. In America, there’s more of an emphasis on team goals. We train for strength and mileage now, whereas in the U.K., it was more speed work.
Q: What do you miss most about your home country?
A: Family, friends and English chocolates. We definitely made sure to stash some in our bags before coming to America.
Q: Do you know what you’d like to do career-wise when you are done with school?
A: Back home, my studies were in sports conditioning, rehabilitation and massage. I was interested in rehab of injures and massage. Here at New Mexico, I am getting my master’s degree in sports administration. I enjoyed learning more about the business and marketing side of sports, and that’s something I’d like to pursue.
Q: Will that be in America or back in Europe?
A: It’s tough to stay out here Visa-wise so I’ll heading back to U.K., getting a job and training there. I’m hoping to do some indoor/outdoor meets this coming spring and then head back to England in June or July.
Do you have a student-athlete you’d like to see featured in an upcoming Thursday's Conversation? Contact Dan Johnson at djohnson@TheMW.com