Read about athlete Melina Gryschka in the next Greyhound Gazette. #ENMU #ENMUNEWS

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The graduate assistant also works in the College of Business.

Growing up in Germany, she lived a normal childhood. Melina lived with her mother, sister and two pets before attending ENMU.

She began her athletic career around the age of 17, when she first started running with a team.

Her team in Germany only consisted of five girls, making it much smaller than ENMU’s.

After skyping with the ENMU track coaches, Melina knew this school was “the perfect fit.”

She thought the transition to New Mexico from Germany would be difficult. “I was surprised that [the climate change] wasn’t that bad. We are at sea level in Germany, but I don’t have any problems here,” she said.

Melina also feared communicating might be a challenge. “At first I was afraid that I would have problems with speaking or writing,” she said, “but it’s okay.”

She will graduate in May 2018, but is unsure what she will do after that. “I have another year to think about it,” she said.

While studying abroad in America, Melina has noticed the many differences between here and her hometown. “The streets are bigger and the landscape here is very different and the food is very different, too,” said Melina. She also loves that there are “so many schools” in the country.

Two things she really misses is the bread and the sparkling water. She described Germany’s bread as “darker and not as soft.”

Melina also runs with the ENMU track team while earning her degree. Her favorite event is the mile.

The training is more intense here than with her team back home. She works out “every day, sometimes even twice a day.” In the peak of the last season she would run “16 to 18 miles” during practice, on average.

She has run three indoor meets so far in this season and qualified for nationals during the first. “It felt good,” Melina said. “It was great that I got that qualification on my first race.”

Her roommate also qualified for nationals while running the 800. “We will go together,” the athlete said.\

The national meet will take place Friday, March 10, 2017, in Birmingham, Alabama.

Melina feels confident that her coach will prepare her for it.

Her biggest struggle is maintaining a healthy diet. She “loves to eat.” She also wants to improve by eating good portion sizes. “Sometimes that is hard,” she said.

Melina’s favorite part of ENMU is her team and her “new friends.” The close-knit team is like “a small family.”

The athlete really enjoys it here.  “It was the best choice for me to come,” she said.