Setters Profile: Mariah Jno-Charles

JAMES MIRANDA, Sports Editor

For Mariah Jno-Charles, running isn’t just a sport or activity; it’s what separates her from the crowd and what makes her unique.

Jno-Charles is a competitive runner for the women’s cross-country team at Pace who has her eyes set on something bigger than just running, but for now it’s all she worries about.

“I like racing, but I’m not a big fan of the competitiveness. I was always really good at it, though. I love being at the top and I always had to be at the top five,” Jno-Charles said. “Winning isn’t everything for me, if I win I win, but as long as I’m in the top bracket of players I’m ok with that.”

She has a love-hate relationship with running. She admitted that she needed to be pushed in order to get things done, which speaks on what kind of runner she is. The five-foot-seven runner likes to start out slow and amp it up as the race goes on.

“It gives me something to work for,” Jno-Charles said. “If I’m at the top in the beginning, I have no one to chase. So I let [runners] go out first and let them take the pace and at the end I’ll chase all of them.”

She took up running in third grade and reached the varsity level in seventh. Cross-country, however became a part of her life when she was in the tenth grade. She has played other sports such as soccer in high school, but expressed that running seemed to be the sport she excelled in the most.

However, the most ironic thing about the Long Island native is that, other than her, her family has no background in athletics.

“I think I’m the only athletic person in my family,” Jno-Charles said. “They don’t understand sports at all.”

Of her three older siblings, she is the only one who plays a sport. She claims her family is a large group of lawyers, hence why she’s taken up a criminal justice major.

Like her family, she enjoys watching TV shows like NCIS and Criminal Minds and likes the craziness of them. She wants to be a lawyer just like most of her family and is a part of the Criminal Justice Society.

Despite her family having no athletic affiliation, they still have supported her and try to go to as many events as possible.

Jno-Charles has been racking up awards ever since she’s stepped foot on college cross country courses. She’s won two Eastern College Athletic Committee Rookie of the Week awards and one Northeast-10 Rookie of the Week honors.

She’s won MVP for track and cross-country in all four years of high school. She had the opportunity to compete in States for New York when she was in the eleventh grade.

No one from Pace has ever made it to Nationals, or tournament racing, which is something Jno-Charles hopes to accomplish in her tenure at Pace.

“Just the experience would be amazing,” said Jno-Charles in response to a possibility of being one of the first to make it to Nationals for Pace. “I’ve already been to States, but Nationals is totally different. It would just be an honor to go.”

To be in the presence of other great athletes at a National race is what Jno-Charles really looks forward to.

She’s expressed that running is her focus all the time, but does not wish to venture to any professional level after college. The freshman is currently a counselor at The Running School in upstate New York.

“It’s seven days of torture,” Jno-Charles said. “We have two practices a day and during the day we have nutrition classes. It’s basically for younger kids to understand their body and teach them the basics of running.”

Jno-Charles may not be running forever, but she is sprinting towards Nationals.