This week The Record sat down with Mitchell Brickson, a sophomore race walker for the Maple Leafs track and field team. Brickson, a physics and math double major, shared what it’s like to be a nationally-qualified athlete.

Q: How does it feel to be on a track and field team at the collegiate level?

A: It’s really one of the best experiences in college because it is a nice atmosphere and I enjoy the dynamics of the track team. Getting to work out intensely helps me to stay motivated in all aspects of my life because I remember what it is to work hard.

Q: How does it feel to qualify for nationals two years in a row?

A: It feels pretty good. It’s really cool to get to go to a huge meet where everyone around you is the best at what they do. It feels like a huge competition, and, well, it is.

Q: What inspires you as a race walker?

A: When I get to meet all the Olympic race walkers who encourage you to stick with it because a lot of people that start it can’t handle the work or find that they lose interest. So meeting people who are that motivated themselves and want you to stick with it is probably the most inspiring.

Q: Do you have any words of encouragement to give fellow race walkers?

A: For anyone who is just beginning, they should know that it is hard at first because it involves a lot of muscles that you do not normally use. You have to get them used to working how they do as a race walker.