Senior Cayla Maneotis has spent the summer preparing for her first season at the University of Northern Colorado.

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Senior Cayla Maneotis has spent the summer preparing for her first season at the University of Northern Colorado.

Staying centered

Former Bulldog training for the next level

— The goal: To be a center for a NCAA division I women's basketball team.

The reality: It's takes work to achieve that goal.

And that is why Cayla Maneotis started training last spring in preparation for this fall, when pre-season practice begins for the University of Northern Colorado women's basketball team.

She was training to improve her skills and strength.

"My strength and conditioning coach gave me a spring workout that I did at the health club, but it was up to me to push myself because my coaches weren't there," Maneotis said. "I biked or ran five days a week, lifted weights and did foot quickness drills."

This is change from her training when she patrolled the lane for Moffat County High School the last couple of seasons.

"College training is way different than high school. I used to just go to open gym and didn't lift weights frequently," Maneotis said. "It is a lot harder. Now I run more and do Olympic lifts like the power cling, jerks and dead lifts."

These new lifts are new to her workout, but with practice and the help of her training coach, Maneotis has learned the correct techniques of the lifts to prevent injury.

The new techniques and changes in her workout have increased Maneotis's ability.

"At first, it was hard to learn all the new lifts," Maneotis said. "But now that I have learned them, I feel quicker, and I am stronger. I am happy to see this improvement."

UNC head coach Jamie White has been watching Maneotis play since high school and after signing her to the team, White sees the benefits Maneotis will bring to the team.

"She will be a great center for us," White said. "Right now, whether she red shirts or not depends on how far she has come with her summer workout."

"Once the season starts, we will be able to figure her roles on the team," White said.

Since July 2, Maneotis has been in Greeley taking summer classes with five other basketball players. Her coaches recommend this option to her as a way to make the transition from high school to college easier.

Even though she is at school, under NCAA rules, Maneotis is not able to have contact with any of her coaches until pre-season practice begins after Labor Day. This is the reason she conditions with the football team.

"It is fun training with the football team. We do a water relay where you carry water coolers while sprinting and then do a lot of timed sprints," Maneotis said.

Maneotis is focusing on foot speed and quickness.

"I jump rope everyday and do plyos to get faster," Maneotis said. "The first couple of weeks the work outs were very strenuous, and I was so sore walking upstairs seemed impossible."

Maneotis is anxious to start practicing and hopes all this preparation since spring will help her perform.

"I am nervous practice is going to be really intense," Maneotis said. "But I feel like I have pushed myself to get better for when that day comes."

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