by Brad Shulkin
The walk from Teter Quadrangle to Ernie Pyle Hall in the blazing Indiana heat is a struggle for most of the students attending HSJI. The constant complaining and moaning continues on and on until a gust of cold air conditioning soothes their need. What seemed to be a torturous trek in the desert was actually only sixth-tenths of a mile, a pea sized distance compared to what Helene DeLone must run in a single day.
A track and cross country runner for Indiana University, DeLone runs nine miles a day to help keep her mind and body in shape—the distance from Teter Quadrangle to Ernie Pyle Hall 15 times. Her love for the sport, though, is what motivates her to keep on running.
“I think running is a great stress reliever,” DeLone said. “After a long run, I feel accomplished and confident about myself. It isn’t all about trophies, but more about the feeling.”
Growing up in a very athletic family, DeLone knew at a young age that she was destined to play college athletics. Playing soccer up until her high school days, her father, Lou DeLone, thought it would be a great idea for her to take up running as a way to stay in shape during the offseason. But, when it came down to the big decision, it was her father, an IU alumnus, and her grandfather, a professor at Indiana, which lured her into running for the Hoosier nation.
With the chance to run for her favorite school growing up, DeLone initially experienced difficulty managing all the pressures that came with playing college athletics.
“In the beginning, it was hard to manage everything. The workouts got really hard and I started to experience physical changes to my body,” DeLone said. “As time went on, it got better and I found a way to manage everything.”
While in her freshman year, schoolwork, along with the intensity of the cross training workouts caused her body to physically and mentally shut down. The iron levels in her body dropped from 25 to five and her grade point average was at its lowest point during her first year in college. What helped get DeLone back on track were the resources that Indiana University had to offer, as well as her teammates.
“I know everyone on the team really well,” DeLone said. “Even when it gets tough, my teammates and I pushed each other to get better.”
Along with her teammates on both the cross-country and track teams, her family also encourages her to do her best and give her advice on how to become a better runner.
“My family comes to an amazing amount of races,” DeLone said. “Instead of telling me I did a great job every race to make me feel good, they tell me how it is, so I can become better.”
Now that DeLone is going to be a senior, her college experiences, both good and bad, have helped her to become a model for the underclassmen.
“When I was a freshman and sophomore, it was the upperclassmen who helped get me through my difficulties,” DeLone said. “It helps to know the problems before they happen.”
After college, DeLone hopes to move closer to her family and pursue a career in public relations or journalism.