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The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

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Albao-Cozad Makes Walking a Lifestyle

Trinity Albao-Cozad aimed to walk one million steps in October
Laura Barrios Bardi
Trinity Albao-Cozad nears the finish line during a cross-country meet in her first fall season.

Walking on the grass towards the spray-painted white line, time begins to slow down. Each step towards the line begins to feel like an eternity. The air feels still, yet the cheers from the crowd are erupting in your peripheral vision. Upon approaching the line, the yell from the starter begins to raise the hair on the back of everyone’s neck. “Runners to your mark, get set,” and then the gunshot rings into the air. The powerful boom alerts everyone in the surrounding area to begin running past the white line, and that includes Trinity Albao-Cozad during her first season with USAO’s cross-country team.

Before beginning her athletic career at USAO, Albao-Cozad was busy walking the streets of her hometown of Indiahoma, Okla. In her senior year of high school, she spent most of her time in the classroom, competing on the basketball court, dashing around the track, or cheerleading for the Warriors in their various sporting events.

What led Albao-Cozad to USAO was the familiarity of home that she felt from her first visit. Two of her best friends from high school came with her to USAO, and she liked the small and historic campus that was offered.

Running cross country has always been a dream for Albao-Cozad, however, she did not start competing in the sport until her senior year at USAO. In fact, she never ran in the sport during her time in middle and high school, but that wasn’t because of her lack of physical ability.

“I vividly remember in middle school there was one girl who was the fastest runner on the cross-country team and when we were on the basketball team together, I would outrun her during practices and games,” Albao-Cozad said.

Even though she saw the potential in herself to be an excellent cross-country runner, Albao-Cozad was concerned about how she would perform against other runners during a cross-country meet. This is what led to her holding off on running cross-country.

When it comes to who inspired Albao-Cozad to run cross-country, there were multiple factors that helped her lead to this position. One of those factors was USAO’s track and field and cross-country head coach Brian Worthington. He held a try-out just for Albao-Cozad earlier this year and said he can see the potential for her to become a great runner for both teams.

“You can look at somebody and see how keen they are mentally by how they perform physically out on the track and when she came out, I knew she would fit the part,” Worthington said.

He also mentioned that she improved as the season moved on both physically and mentally and is excited to see how she performs for the track and field team once their season begins.

“She has the ability to gain a position, hold that position, and move up the field during the race,” Worthington said.

When she first arrived at USAO, Albao-Cozad quickly became known for being active as she won the student section of the 2022 Walktober event. In her second year on campus, she tracked 928,859 steps for the entire month of October. For this year’s Walktober event, Albao-Cozad surpassed her step count from last year, and she said she was shooting for one million steps for the month.

Albao-Cozad recorded 950,882 steps this year and placed 2nd in the student section for Walktober this year. `

The number of footsteps that Albao-Cozad can take in a month would be shocking to most people, but for her, it’s a part of her normal life. She tries to take as many daily life tasks as possible and apply walking with them.

“I’ve developed a way where I’m able to do things I would already do while walking, I transformed the way I studied and I will make Quizlets (Flash Cards) while walking around campus,” Albao-Cozad said.

While she can’t do all her biology homework and walk around the Oval at the same time, Albao-Cozad also watches social media and hangs out with her friends during those walks.

Along with being able to multitask while walking, Albao-Cozad has also created special memories while going around campus. Her longtime friend and significant other Quintin Pennells said he believes that these treks around USAO serve a great purpose for both of them.

“It’s something that brings us together and is joyful, it’s fresh and keeps our minds open to being able to enjoy everything out here,” Pennells said.

Pennells also shared a memory that he had with Albao-Cozad which is one of his favorite times with her. Pennells said that there was a time when both of them walked around the Oval for three hours straight which consisted of talking about life and playing chess against each other on their phones. While the walk was enjoyable for them, Pennells explained that the three-hour walk led to his calf muscles being so sore the next day that he could hardly walk around.

Despite the pain in his legs at the time, he finished by saying he knew this was a memory he would never forget.

Being a biology major, working in the Student Success Center, competing as a student-athlete, and walking for multiple hours of the day is certainly not a small task for anyone, but Albao-Cozad has this schedule as her daily life. While some might see the walking part as a chore, she sees it as a way to be more fit and productive with her day.

“Walking with a friend or going on your phone or putting on music can help, but ultimately you have to just do it, just push yourself to go out there and when you do it the first time, it just gets easier from there,” Albao-Cozad said.


Gary Jackson is a third-year communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributors
Gary Jackson
Gary Jackson, Managing Editor
Gary is a fourth-year communication major from Kingston. He works as a resident assistant (RA). Gary began writing for The Trend in January 2022, and has interned with the Madill Record and Marietta Monitor newspapers. When Gary isn’t attending class and working, you can watch him making the game-winning catch at the ultimate frisbee game, hanging out with friends, or visiting with his family. Experience with The Trend: Managing Editor: May 2024 - present Sports Editor: Nov. 2023 - Apr. 2024 Senior Writer: Dec. 2022 - Nov. 2023 Contributing Writer: Jan. 2022 - Dec. 2022
Laura Barrios Bardi
Laura Barrios Bardi, Contributing Photographer
Laura is a fourth-year art major from El Paso, TX. Laura currently works for USAO's Sports Information Department as a photographer. She is also a member of USAO's track and field team. Her hobbies include stargazing, spending time with friends, and working towards elevating her photography skills.   Experience with The Trend: Contributing Photographer: Nov. 2022 - present