Athlete Closeup: Track and Field’s Tessni Carruthers

The 2014-2015 Nicholls State University Colonels women’s track and field team began their season of competitions and events earlier in the semester. For senior Tessni Carruthers, another great season is underway for her and the team.

Carruthers, a Communicative Disorder major, is a native of Vernon British Columbia, Canada and arrived at Nicholls State University in Fall 2011. Outside of sports, Carruthers is a member of the National Student Speech-Hearing-Language Association. She’s been a part of NSSHLA for two years.

“It’s part of my curriculum, and we do things around campus. Mainly we provide speech therapy to Max Charter School, and sometimes in the clinic on campus,” Carruthers said.

It did not take her long at all to make a mark here. In her freshman cross-country season, Carruthers finished first place at the McNeese Relays, finishing in the time of 20:20. She was also a member of the first place distance medley team at the Louisiana State University Relays, setting a new school record in the outdoor event with the time of 12:07:70.

Carruthers continued to improve her craft by setting new personal records, being named Southland Conference Women’s Athlete of the Week on multiple occasions and also receiving All-Southland Conference honors. Last year, she took home numerous prestigious awards. In 2013, she earned first-team All-Southland Conference (outdoor) and All-Southland Conference Cross Country honors. She also received Louisiana Sports Writer Association All-Louisiana Cross Country honors. Along with showing her dedication in the classroom, Carruthers earned Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field All-Academic Team honors.

Although Carruthers is a successful runner for the Colonels, track and field isn’t something she picked up until the eleventh grade.
“Due to big winter seasons, it’s a lot of skiing.” Carruthers said. “I grew up participating in competitive skiing and swimming events and got into track as more of a summer sport.”

Carruthers’s decision to run track also came after realizing her opportunities to earn a scholarship in the sport.
“I was an okay swimmer, but I knew I didn’t want to do it later in life,” Carruthers said. “I loved skiing, but there just isn’t much opportunity, in Canada, in college athletics for skiing. I competed against other girls in cross-country, and believed maybe I could get a scholarship to the States,” she added.

Carruthers’, or just simply “Tess,” a nickname given by her peers, is seen as more than just a teammate by her team, but also a great friend. Senior Ashley Johnson thinks of Carruthers as a friend first, then teammate.

“She’s a very nice, fun-loving person and is also extremely humble,” Johnson said. “She’s very competitive, but she also pushes her teammates to do as best as they can not just in meets, but also in practice. She’s a ‘Leave No Person Behind’ type of person.”