Virginia junior triple jumper Dallas Rose (Pearland, Texas) competed at her first NCAA Championships on March 10 in Nampa, Idaho. Rose recently talked to VirginiaSports.com about her experience at NCAAs, how she ended up becoming a jumper and being in a PSA for the United Way.
You competed at the NCAA Championships for the first time, what are your thoughts on the experience?
Rose: It was a really great experience. I never thought at the beginning of the season that I was going to be at NCAAs and I just wanted to take it all in. It was a great honor to be there.
Do you think going to NCAA Indoors will help the upcoming outdoor season?
Rose: I think it’s a big motivator and a confidence booster. It’ll be good to have that behind me as I go into the outdoor season.
How did you feel about you’re parents flying all the way up to Idaho from Texas for the championships?
Rose: It was awesome having them there. I love them so much; they’ve always supported me however they can, so it was really good for them to be there. It was the best. The only part missing was my little sister because she was out of town with my uncle and grandmother. It was a really good time.
How important was family to you growing up?
Rose: Family has always been really important. I always thought that going to school far away, I would be homesick because I loved them so much, but it hasn’t been really bad at all. I do miss them at times, but that’s because family is everything to me.
How did you end up coming to Virginia from Texas?
Rose: I had been in Texas my whole life so I kind of wanted to experience something new and looked at schools outside of Texas. When I came here, it was just so beautiful and the team was great. They were just like a family unit and Coach (Michael) Eskind was the best and we got along very well. My high school coach and I were always very close, so I wanted that when I went to college and I felt that Coach Eskind and I would have a very good coach-athlete relationship.
Now that you have been here three years, what are your favorite parts of UVa?
Rose: Whenever I look at the Lawn and the Rotunda, I think they’re the most beautiful things ever. The whole architecture of everything is nice. What’s funny is I had a picture of the Rotunda on my phone and I thought one of my friend’s deleted it and I panicked, but luckily, she hadn’t so I was relieved.
What is your favorite class you have taken so far at UVa?
Rose: Women in sports was probably my favorite because I got to learn so many things about the history of women and how we’ve evolved in sports. Learning about women I had seen on TV, I thought that was a really cool class that I got to be a part of, especially being an athlete.
Being a statistics major, what do you see yourself doing after college?
Rose: I’m not really sure yet, but I want to go to business school at some point. I have an internship over the summer at the Federal Reserve Bank, so I’ll see how that goes. I definitely want to work in business, maybe at a bank.
How did you get involved in jumping?
Rose: My freshman year of high school, I decided to join the track team because I had done it in eighth grade, but I had sprinted at first. One day, my coach told me to go with the jumpers, but I told him, “I don’t know what do!” He said I needed to try the triple jump and I was going to be really good at it. I didn’t really like it at first, but I stuck with it and wasn’t very good. One year, it just happened and now I love it. I can’t really see myself doing anything else and now I thank my high school coaches for seeing something in me.
Did you look up to any track and field athletes growing up?
Rose: No actually, sports were the last thing on my mind. I grew up all into dance, which was my everything. I did play basketball in fourth grade for the YMCA, but that’s because my dad wanted me to because he didn’t have any boys. But I didn’t have anybody that I wanted to be like, I knew of some athletes like Marion Jones, because they were fast, but sports was the last thing on my mind.
Do you still dance here at UVa?
Rose: I’m part of a hip-hop group called X-Tacee. I was worried when I came here, because I danced in school up to and through my senior year and didn’t think I was going to be able to ever again. I found that group and am really enjoy being a part of it. I wish I could do more ballet and jazz, but the hip-hop is great.
Last year, you were a part of a public service announcement with the United Way, what was that like? (Click here to see PSA)
Rose: It was a lot of fun. I was surprised when they asked me to do it, but I was like, “Be on TV? Cool, sure!” It was a lot of fun to go to the YMCA and work with the kids. There wasn’t a planned set of activities. Basically, I just got to play with them and they shot me doing that. I enjoy kids and playing with them, so it was a lot of fun. I’m sad to say that I haven’t seen it on TV, but people always tell me when they’ve seen it so that’s cool. I’ve seen it online, but I just want to be watching UVa basketball and see it come on. Maybe one day.
Why is it important to give back to the community?
Rose: I think as student-athletes in general, a lot kids look up to us and see us as role models. We should show them how great college is and trying to make something of yourself is important. I think that we as young adults should see that the kids be successful and that it’s an important thing to do.