Ohio State students balance school, band, sports

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Ohio State students
Ohio State students Kate Deaton and Mike Loveless put in the extra hours to be successful in school and on the field. (Catie Noyes photos)

COLUMBUS — Being a student athlete or a marching band member takes a lot of dedication and time management. These two Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences seniors have figured out how to make the most of their college experience, studying for their dream careers and still taking advantage of the extracurriculars they love.

Kate Deaton Ohio State
Kate Deaton is an Ohio State athlete and agriscience education major. (Catie Noyes photo)

Kate Deaton
Hometown: Eaton, Ohio
High School: National Trail (Preble County)
Age: 21  
Year: Senior
Majors: Agriscience Education and Agribusiness
Sport: Women’s Track and Field
Events: Hammer throw, weight throw and discus
Other clubs: Agricultural Education Society

How did you get into track?
“My sister did track (in high school) and I thought, ‘I guess I’ll try that’. After the first day of conditioning I almost didn’t go back.” Deaton was encouraged by her parents to not give up, which led her to pursue college athletics.

How did you select Ohio State?
“I ended up getting a scholarship. I visited Miami University, the University of Michigan and Ohio State. When I was visiting Miami and Michigan, I thought I would go into the medical field. When I came to Ohio State, I knew I could do what I really wanted to do,” study ag education.

Why are you pursuing agriculture education?
Deaton attributes her passion for teaching agriculture to her former teacher and FFA adviser at National Trail High School, Joe Sloan. His passion and dedication to teaching made her want to do the same. “I remember thinking, ‘this is fun.’”

She grew up on a corn and soybean operation, and showed pigs, goats and rabbits at the county fair, which also fueled her interest in teaching others about agriculture.

What are some highlights from your track career at Ohio State?
“My first year was rough. I was expecting it to be tough.” Deaton said she fouled out her freshman year in the hammer throw event, didn’t compete her sophomore year, but came back and won the open event her junior year at the Jesse Owens Classic with a career best.

“I had a huge PR (personal record). My whole family was there to see it. I was in my element.” Deaton’s personal bests include: 58.65 meter hammer throw, 49.08 meter discus and 18.84 meter weight throw.

How do you balance it all?
“It’s getting better every year.” Deaton said the training and conditioning for track never really stops and neither does the school work. “My freshmen grades weren’t where I wanted them to be,” even though “they still were by no means bad,” she said.

“I was so used to being busy,” she said, having been involved in 4-H, FFA, cheerleading, dance, track, volleyball and basketball in high school. It was all about finding a routine that worked for her.

What are your career goals after college?
“Hopefully teaching in Ohio, possibly in Preble County if something opens up.” Deaton said while she would love to go back and teach at her home high school and inspire students just as her ag teacher did, she said she would also like to make her own mark, starting somewhere new.

Mike Loveless Ohio State
Mike Loveless is an Ohio State Marching Band member and animal sciences student. (Plain Janell, Ohio State College of Arts and Sciences photo)

Mike Loveless

Hometown: Springboro, Ohio
High school: Springboro (Warren County)
Age: 22
Year: Senior
Majors: Animal Science (Pre-Vet)
Sport: Marching Band
Instrument: Mellophone

Did you come to Ohio State for the band?
“I didn’t come here because of band. I came out of high school sure I wanted to be a vet. So, I came to Ohio State for undergrad. This has always been my school.”

However, TBDBITL did inspire him to be a bando. “I grew up listening to Chimes and Change” — an Ohio State Marching Band CD. Loveless played the trumpet and french horn in high school and once he was accepted in Ohio State University, he knew he “wanted to be a part of the band.”

What kind of hours does a marching band member put in?
“It’s roughly 25-30 hours a week. You’re kind of a full-time band student.” Loveless said band students practice a few hours each evening during the week and put in a 12-hour day on game days.

What about your coursework?
Loveless says he tries not to schedule much of his lab work during the fall semester, but instead get his core classes out of the way. In the spring, he focuses on lab work and spends his summers getting as much experience as he can.

He spent the summer after his freshmen year working on an organic duck farm, raising and selling eggs. The next summer, he worked as an animal specialist at COSI in Columbus and the past summer he shadowed Craig Zimmerly at Country Road Veterinary Services in Apple Creek.

How do you balance it all?
“It’s a lot! Most semesters have been heavy. You have to find your routine.”

“Band student GPAs are usually higher during band season.” Loveless said being a full-time band member forces you to focus on time management.

“It’s about how you spend those five hours outside of band. At some point, every person chooses band over school. I tried very hard not to have that happen. I’m not in any clubs. I decided I’m going to do well in my classes.”

Did you grown up on farm?
“I had no involvement with farming.” Loveless said he grew up in an urban setting, but always had an interest in animals.

Small or large animal vet?
Loveless said working at the Waterman Dairy Center at Ohio State has convinced him to become a large animal veterinarian. “Dairy herd checks are still more fun than the small animal routine.”

Will you continue to do band while in vet school?
“If I get into vet school, this would be my last year in band. But, it’s been a good college experience.”

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Catie Noyes lives in Ashland County and earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture communications from The Ohio State University. She enjoys photography, softball and sharing stories about agriculture.

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