Above The Net: Volleyball's Warner Walks-On To Track Team

By
Mark Emery

Dateline
Updated Mon, Jan 23, 2012 8:44 pm
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The Ohio track and field team recently received a boost to its lineup of high jumpers, but it didn’t come in the form of a five-star recruit or a junior-college transfer.
 
Serena Warner, a freshman on the volleyball team, decided midway through fall quarter that she wanted to get back into a sport at which she excelled during her middle school years. She was added to the track team as a walk-on after talks with track coach Clay Calkins.
 
It didn’t matter to Warner, who studies digital communication at Ohio, that it had been years since she last participated in track.
 
“I did used to be pretty good,” she said. “So I had confidence that it would come back to me.”
 
That will be good news for Calkins, whose team has produced plenty of standouts in recent memory.
 
“Serena is a great athlete and seems to be able to handle the rigors of both sports,” Calkins said in an email.  “She is going to be a great addition to our team and I feel she could be an impact performer for us in the MAC.”
 
At this point, Warner will only participate in the high jump, a good transitional event because of its relevance to volleyball. If she decides she wants to take up sprinting events, too, Warner said she will have to get herself into better shape.
 
But no matter what happens, volleyball is still the priority for Warner.
 
Ryan Theis, Ohio’s volleyball coach, seems to fully support Warner’s addition to the track team.
 
“Serena… spoke with me about high jumping during the recruiting process,” Theis said in an email. “I have all the confidence in the world in Serena and her ability to succeed in every area.”
 
As for Warner, she expressed some concern about the stresses of being a two-sport athlete at a Division I school, but she’s confident she can handle it.
 
“I think it’s worth it,” she said. “I like staying busy.”
 
With off-season volleyball workouts and an indoor and outdoor track schedule, it seems safe to say that Warner will have no problem finding things to occupy her time.


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