Beacon pick of the pride

by Beacon Staff • October 18, 2006

Every one of her six classmates was her first or second cousin.

Tweto describes Alaska as a place very different from one a Bostonian would be familiar with.,Born in Unalakleet, a small village in Northern Alaska, Ariel Tweto was one of seven in her graduating class.

Every one of her six classmates was her first or second cousin.

Tweto describes Alaska as a place very different from one a Bostonian would be familiar with. Each village in the area is at least a half-hour away from each other.

With only dirt roads, four-wheelers and dirt bikes are a routine form of traveling. To cross rivers, snow machines are used in the winter, and boats in the summer.

Tweto has adjusted to the New England city life quite well. She keeps herself busy by meeting new people, lifting weights and running around Boston. It is not unusual for Tweto to set out on a run and not return for at least two hours. She runs to prepare for meets, which usually occur on Saturdays, and also runs to "space out" and keep her mind off of her busy schedule.

Tweto is a runner to look out for. She has a petite figure, a bubbly personality, and determination. With those traits, it's little surprise that this freshman, who has been running regularly with her mom since she was in the fifth grade, is making a mark at Emerson.

As a first-year member of the women's cross-country team, Tweto has placed seventh in her last two meets. During her last meet at Roger Williams University on Oct. 7, she finished the 5K race, in which a total of 150 runners from 15-20 other college and universities attended, in 20 minutes and 7 seconds.

The superstitious athlete doesn't look behind while racing.

"When I hear the girls breathing loud in back of me is when I know I need to run harder," Tweto said.

She plans to work on a different aspect of running to be victorious.

"I need to strengthen my legs," she said. "Then maybe I can win."

Coach John Furey advises her to "go out with the leaders." Tweto tries to stay at constant sprinting speed throughout the race and keep pace with the top three girls.

Tweto has enjoyed her first year running at Emerson and credits her coach and teammates for helping her be successful.

"At practice we are always making each other better by pushing each other," she said.

A broadcast journalism major, Tweto has "always wanted to be the native Katie Couric." She hopes to become involved with television entertainment. She loves talking to people and traveling, and she believes the field of broadcast journalism will allow her to do that.

Tweto joined the Society of Professional Journalists and Earth Emerson as a way to meet new people and expose herself to different organizations. If that's not enough to keep her busy, Tweto also plays on the women's basketball team.

Although it is difficult, Tweto has learned to efficiently balance her schedule. With cross-country practice at seven in the morning, basketball practice at nine in the morning, attending classes throughout the day and finding free time in between, she finds it helpful to start her homework right after her classes to leave the rest of her night to herself.

Tweto recently ran in the Women's Tufts Health Plan 10K.

She said she wants to run in the Boston Marathon next year or the following year. She then wants to run in the New York and Hawaii Marathons.

As for what the vegetarian does to get ready to start races:

"I used to eat jelly beans at the starting line, but I can't find any good ones around here."