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Student Athlete Profile

Marissa Banks '10
Psychology Major

The pressure was on at the NCAA Division III national outdoor track & field championship at Titan Stadium in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where discus thrower Marissa Banks was struggling in ninth place. But Banks' experience in sports has taught her to be patient with herself, and in her last two tosses she moved all the way up to third place with a distance of 142' 5", earning All-America honors.

By keeping a level head and not losing her cool, Banks, also a shot put thrower and member of the volleyball team, finds she is able to balance her time between schoolwork and sports. With the added support of friends and teammates, she is encouraged to hit the books first thing. Banks and members of the volleyball team even coordinate study times to ensure that everyone gets their work done.

Along with her participation in a new student volunteer program called Athletes Giving Back, Banks backs those around her by believing in them and urging them to succeed, just as she was encouraged by fellow track & field members to join the team early this year. Though she doubted her ability to juggle two sports and a full course load, Banks didn't want to regret never trying it, and ever since she has enjoyed a storybook freshman season.

This is how Augustana has molded Banks into a leader. With the encouragement of teammates, Banks joined the track team in March and went on to be named one of the Most Valuable Freshman in women's track & field. But because of her early success, Banks is sure to motivate and support other members of her team as well as maintain a level head herself. In her future years at Augustana, Banks plans to continue to work hard and focus to be the best she can be.