Tiger Tales is a weekly piece highlighting a DePauw student-athlete. Athletic-intern Adam Tierney conducts the interviews.
Rachel Gutish is a sophomore pole-vaulter on the women's track and field team. Gutish originates from Terre Haute, Ind. and is a graduate of Terre Haute North High School.
Rachel is majoring in Psychology and is in the Pre-Law program that aims towards a Philosophy minor and a Business Administration minor. She also races motorcycles professionally and likes to ride her unicycle and read.
Q: What has been your most memorable athletic moment?
A: Wining our indoor conference meet as a freshman was pretty cool. I broke the school record twice in a span of two weeks so that was also awesome.
Q: How has your team/teammates played a role on your life at DePauw?
A: If it weren't for track and field, I wouldn't have a social life. All of my friends I have made are through the track team. It's going to sound weird but going to track practice is the highlight of my day.
Q: What is something people may not know about you?
A: I race motorcycles professionally. I started riding at the age of 5 with the help of my dad, who owns a motorcycle shop. He has been a tremendous help with my career with his racing experience. I began racing locally at 6 and then entered my first pro race at the age of 16. Then later as my career progressed, I worked my way to a X-Games Bronze Medalist, participated in Endurocross, and represented the United States in international competitions in Germany, Slovakia, Italy and Argentina and will most likely be picked again for the U.S. I'm one of the younger ones that ride professionally, but there are definitely some riders that are 15 or 16. I'm one of the few that does schoolwork at these races. My professors and coaches are flexible with my schedule and help me work through it so I can make as much track and field events as I can and that I can get all my assignments in on time.
Q: Why did you choose DePauw?
A: I wanted a school that had good academics and a good reputation and DePauw had that. I needed to stay within a close radius to home. I live in Terre Haute, which is 30 minutes away, or 25 if I drive really fast. For the purposes of racing, it is really hard to bring a motorcycle to college. So, it is easier to go home when I need to and train. Even though I race, I really wanted to keep pole-vaulting. I knew if I went to a DI school or to a school where the coaches weren't open to the idea, then I wouldn't pole vault. So, I talked with the coaches here and they said that they would rather have me here some of the time over none at all. Those are the main three reasons.
Q: Do you like winning more or hate losing more?
A: That's a hard one. I'd say that I hate losing more. Winning is nice, but I just really don't like getting beat. I don't like measuring up and not being able to perform. Although to be honest, I'd take losing but feeling like I had a good performance over winning with a lousy performance.
Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted," Randy Pausch.
Q: What superpower would you want?
A: I would want to fly because pole vaulting is almost like flying. It is one of the coolest sensations in the world. That feeling of weightlessness is pretty awesome.
Q: Do you have a favorite athlete past or present?
A: I went to Terre Haute North High School and our school record holder in women's pole vaulting was Kylie Hudson. She ended up going on to Indiana State University and won the NCAA Championships in the pole vault and missed qualifying for the Olympics by an inch. She didn't get great until later in her career so the high school record was attainable. I spent my four years trying to break that record and never was able to. My senior year at a track meet she came back to visit our coach and I got to meet her then. It was a really cool experience meeting her.
Q: If you rubbed a lamp and a genie appeared with three wishes, what would you wish for?
A: I wish to never have a mechanical failure at a race again because that is one of the most frustrating things that can happen. Usually it's not your fault, it's something unforeseen and it really sucks. I think I would also wish to do math well because that is something I have difficulty doing. Anything in the tens I have trouble doing so that ability would be nice. My third wish would be to never worry about money again. That way I know when I'm old, slow and my racing is no longer paid for, that I could continue to keep racing. Plus, I could quit worrying about my student loans.