Freshman mid-distance runner enters App State record books after first career race


Andy McLean

App State freshman track athlete Bianca Copeman in action at the Weems Baskin Invitational March 27 in Columbia, SC. Earlier in the season in her first collegiate meet, she broke into the App State record books, finishing the 1000-meter run in the sixth fastest time in school history.

Dan Davidson, Former Sports Editor

Freshman mid-distance runner Bianca Copeman burst into the App State record books at her first meet as a Mountaineer. Copeman ran the sixth-fastest 1,000-meter run in program history at the Brant Tolsma Invitational last month with a time of 3:09.41. 

“A week before the race, I was worried I was going to get last,” Copeman said. “I am just extremely grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this team and program.”

Copeman’s road to the record books began far before she stepped foot in Boone. Growing up in Wilmington, Copeman played soccer and only ran to stay fit for the soccer season. When she tried cross country to stay in shape, she fell in love with running. 

“My cross-country coach encouraged me then to try track, where in my first track season, I was able to set a school record in the 4×800-meter relay and go to states,” Copeman said. “After this, I decided to run full time and quit soccer, one of the best choices I have ever made.”

Copeman credits her parents for having the most influence on her track career, thanks to their constant encouragement for her to work hard and do her best. 

“From biking my workouts by my side to driving me to races all over North Carolina, they have done it all for me,” Copeman said. “I can be pretty hard on myself after a bad race or just in general, but they always know how to cheer me up and motivate me to do better next time. I would not be where I am today without them.”

Before her first meet as a Mountaineer, Copeman was both excited and nervous. The race at Liberty would be just her third time ever running the 1,000-meter. 

“I started in the middle of the pack, but by 800M, I moved my way up and had a super strong kick to get second,” Copeman said. “Faith (Younts) and I were neck and neck at the line, and I was so happy to finish by her side and my teammate Angelina (Diblasi) as we are all good friends.”

The Wilmington native plans to continue to practice hard and improve her personal records as the team moves into the outdoor track season, which began March 13. 

“I just want to continue what I have been doing,” Copeman said. “I have been running solid workouts and hitting consistent mileage, which I hope will pay off.” 

By the end of her time in Boone, Copeman hopes to accomplish more than new personal records. She wants to be the best teammate and athlete she can be. 

“I take my specific goals season by season, but overall I want to be able to make a positive impact on the team,” Copeman said. “I want to run my final race and look back to feel that I put it all out there and that (I) was the best athlete I could have been.”