Adderley contributes in first season with Gophers, aims for nationals

Junior Te’Shon Adderley has a shot at qualifying for the NCAA indoor championships in her first year at Minnesota.

Megan Ryan

Junior Te’Shon Adderley is on the verge of qualifying for the NCAA indoor championships in the 800-meter run.

But her journey to the Division I national stage started in the fifth grade in her native Bahamas.

When she graduated high school at age 17, she followed a friend to the U.S. to compete for Iowa Central Community College.

While Adderley won various titles at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) indoor championships in her two years at Iowa Central, she said training at the community college was difficult.

“Unfortunately, they didn’t have a track,” Adderley said. “So we actually ran on the sidewalk or we would take a bus 20 minutes to a high school track.”

Now, after transferring to Minnesota this year, Adderley has two track facilities for practice.

Head coach Matt Bingle first saw Adderley at the NJCAA indoor championships a year ago and was curious about her ability to be a Division I athlete.

Adderley officially signed with the University in May 2012. She proved she would be a good addition to the Gophers at the IAAF World Junior Championships last summer when she ran a sub-2:08 time in the 800.

“The expectation was that she [would be] an immediate impact to our program,” Bingle said.

Adderley has made an impact so far. She had a successful regular season and placed fourth in the 800 at the Big Ten indoor championships last week.

While Adderley was disappointed she just missed a medal, she said running a personal-record time was a good tradeoff.

Adderley and teammate senior Alena Brooks are both poised to qualify for the NCAA indoor championships in the 800. Both will compete this weekend at the Notre Dame Last Chance meet to solidify their spots in the top-16 qualifiers.

Brooks said Adderley fit in with the team right away because she always smiles and jokes with people.

“I thought she was crazy,” Brooks said of when she first met Adderley. “She wasn’t shy like me.”

While the two compete in the same event this weekend, Brooks trains with the sprinters while Adderley trains with the distance runners.

“We always talk trash, and we have this friendly rivalry,” Brooks said, adding that the two motivate each other.

Adderley said she’s excited for the opportunity to compete at the Division I national meet.

“It would be phenomenal,” she said. “It’s the highest in all the universities in the United States, so that is excellent. Being there would be excellent.”