Inside Athletics

Ali Celentano - Senior Reflection 2015

Ali Celentano - Senior Reflection 2015

I’ll always remember my first day as a student-athlete at Carnegie Mellon. The team was having a meeting the evening before preseason started. We were sitting in the hallway outside of the Skibo conference room under emergency lighting because the thunderstorm that day was so bad there was a blackout. As nervous as I was coming in as a freshman I became even more nervous when Coach Kelly told us that the fitness test we were doing the next morning was going to be three times the fitness test we were expecting. Although I was scared, nervous and anxious, I knew I would enjoy every minute of being a Carnegie Mellon athlete.

The best thing about being a Tartan for me was being with my teammates. We go through so much together; sometimes it feels like we’re living in our own world. All of the work we put in, all of the pain and suffering we go through, all of the emotions that we feel when we get a huge win, all of this is shared with my teammates. I’ll never forget the way I felt when our team beat the eighth-ranked Washington University in Saint Louis Bears and soon after earned an at-large bid to the 2013 NCAA tournament. Almost nothing compares to the excitement in your teammates faces after a win like that, knowing that they feel the exact same way you do.

Similarly, the experience wouldn’t have been complete without the support of our coaches. I often called Coach Kelly my “second mom” while I was on campus. I knew she was always there for support and guidance no matter what the issue or topic. Coach Bock was the rock that kept us all grounded and was one of the biggest reasons for my success on the court. And the peppy, organized and super efficient Coach London came in my junior year completing the perfect trio of coaches.

Over the course of my four years the team has improved greatly and I was so happy and excited to be a part of that growth and development. I learned a lot about what it means to be successful on and off the court, as well as all the little things you have to accomplish in order to achieve bigger goals. Mostly, I learned what it means to overcome adversity. Carnegie Mellon is a dream, but it can be tough. It’ll knock you down some days and make you extremely grateful other days. Overall, my four years here have been some of the most trying and simultaneously satisfying times of my life. Coming out of Carnegie Mellon as a student-athlete makes me feel prepared to take on anything.