Alumni Jaime Diedel’s race to achieving her dreams


Kristin Stam

Jaime Diedel shares her love for running at the Collegiate level for Bloomsburg University.

For Jaime Diedel, running isn’t just a sport, but a journey. It is a journey down a road full of hills, pain, and memories. Sometimes it may not be a fun journey, but Diedel knows that what lies at the end of that road isn’t just a runner’s high, but a strong, confident, and well-rounded woman.

Jaime Diedel is a sophomore cross country and track and field athlete at Bloomsburg University. Diedel graduated from North Penn in 2021 with many accomplishments as a student and an athlete. Even though her time participating in North Penn athletics is long gone, she still carries all the experiences and lessons they provided her.

“North Penn’s cross country and track and field programs definitely helped prepare me for what I am doing today,” Diedel explained. “The track coaches at North Penn know what they are doing and have been involved in the sport for a long time. Obviously, the workouts in college are much harder and my running volume has increased, but the program in high school made the running transition less of a shock”.

While Diedel transitioned from college to high school, she certainly noticed a difference in her training but she also quickly noticed there was one thing she missed from her time at North Penn.

“One thing I miss the most is the people. I feel like most people take for granted being able to see their best friends every day at school. When you go to college, most of the time you aren’t in the same place as all your friends. Obviously, you make new friends and meet so many people at college, but it’s still hard not seeing the people you went to school with for so many years,” Diedel shared.

Living in different areas than your friends can be a difficult change when transitioning to college life. But Diedel quickly learned that this isn’t the only struggle that comes along with the transition.

Young Jaime Diedel racing to the finish line in a cross country meet at North Penn. (Jon Worthington)

“In high school, specifically North Penn, I was comfortable. I lived in the area my entire life and everyone I knew was at North Penn. This made the transition to college very hard for me initially,” revealed Diedel. “I was and still am so grateful I had the opportunity to be on a college sports team because, right away, I met and made friends with people that shared similar interests. I just didn’t realize how long it would take for me to be comfortable far from home. This also taught me that it’s okay to adjust at a different rate than those around you because eventually, you will adjust”.

Another struggle presented with the transition was being able to juggle sports and schoolwork. But with the struggle, Diedel was also able to learn some valuable lessons that will certainly help her in the future.

“Being a student-athlete you essentially have two full-time jobs which can be really stressful at times. But I really believe that being a student-athlete teaches you how to manage your time perfectly. If I know I have a weekend meet coming up, I know that I have to get my bigger assignments done beforehand. Juggling it all forces you to be organized and pretty level-headed,” Diedel explained.

But a little team comradery and support never fail to help either.

“Our team takes academics very seriously. At Bloomsburg, we have study rooms in the library, and Monday through Friday, my teammates and I are in one of the rooms grinding out our work and helping each other study,” Diedel shared.

Although there is a lot to take on when being an athlete in college, Diedel genuinely feels that all the rewards of running in college make up for it.

“Running at the collegiate level is actually so fun,” Diedel said with a smile. “I am surrounded by so much talent at Bloomsburg which is really cool”.

Diedel has utilized her training at North Penn as a way to prepare herself for the training load at the collegiate level. But a striking difference between the two levels has also been the seriousness of her teammates and competitors.

“It’s different from high school because everyone knows what they are doing with respect to their events. The coaches don’t have to teach us how to do baton handoffs or how to properly do dynamic drills. Most of us came into the program with the basic skills down,” revealed Diedel. “But the coaches are constantly giving us feedback and tips to get better- we are always learning”.

Obviously, as an athlete, you set yourself goals as you continue to grow and learn. Diedel shared that she definitely has some goals of her own that she hopes to achieve during her time running at Bloomsburg.

“One of my broad goals is just to continue to improve and run faster than I did in high school. Even last year as a freshman. I saw big improvements and that just motivated me to keep getting stronger both mentally and physically,” Diedel shared.

Another goal of Diedel’s is to continue to qualify for the conference meets.

“I qualified for both the indoor and outdoor conference meet as a freshman so that is something I would love to keep qualifying for each year,” Diedel said excitedly.

While running is a major focus of Diedel’s, it isn’t her only focus. Diedel also plans to one day become a teacher.

“At Bloomsburg, I am a secondary education English major, so when I graduate, I plan and hope to get a job as a high school English teacher,” Diedel explained. “My entire life I knew I wanted to become a teacher, but for the longest time, I didn’t know what I wanted to teach or what grade. Throughout my time though in middle and high school, I saw how so many of my teachers genuinely loved their jobs and I wanted to be just like them. I want to inspire students to inspire others,” Diedel shared.

Caption: Diedel has learned many lessons from her career as a competitive runner and hopes to continue learning as she competes in more races at Bloomsburg University. (Kristin Stam)

She also revealed another dream aside from teaching that she hopes to fulfill in the future.

“I also would love to coach cross country or track and field. Or both!” Diedel said passionately. “Aside from teaching, coaching is one of my dream jobs. I love learning new things about the sport of running and I would love to ultimately teach what I know to the next generation of runners”.

For the past year and a half, Diedel has enjoyed competing at the collegiate level and believes that it has truly changed her life. That is why the one piece of advice she would give to anyone contemplating being a college athlete is to do it.

“If you have the opportunity to become a student-athlete at any level, college or high school, do it. Running at the collegiate level was probably one of the best decisions I could have made. It has made college feel more like home and I have seen potential in myself that I wouldn’t have noticed if I stopped running after high school,” stated Diedel.

As for now, Diedel hopes to continue to grow as a runner while also preparing to fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher. But as she continues in life, one thing Diedel will never forget is the lessons she has learned from competitive running over the years.

“Running and competing have taught me a lot about life in general. It has allowed me to grow not only as a runner but as a person. When you have really big goals for yourself and a setback happens, it’s a really scary thing to get back up and try again. But running has taught me that when you get back up, it’s not about where you end up in relation to your goals. It’s about the person you become trying to reach those goals,” said Diedel.

Diedel has a long road ahead of her when it comes to reaching her goals, but there is one thing she reminds herself of every day that helps her enjoy the journey just a little more.

“I have found that the process leading to achieving your goals can teach you more about yourself than anything else in life. I think that’s a really cool way to look at things,” Diedel said with a smile.