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MIC'D UP: Mines athlete balances brains and basketball

Courtney Stanton, a junior at Colorado School of Mines, takes us through a day in the life of a chemical engineering major and center of the women's basketball team.

GOLDEN, Colo. — Time management is a key component to any student-athlete's life, but when the students are the next chemical engineers, their time is stretched a bit more thin.

"My first semester here, I was in 17.5 credits, so it hit me like a freight train," Courtney Stanton said.

The Colorado School of Mines junior is a chemical engineering major and the center on the women's basketball team. While basketball is her passion, she and her teammates know why they're enrolled in the Golden school.

"I think the workload here is ten times more than what anyone at any other school is doing, unless they're in engineering as well," she said. "Every class is difficult, every class requires time outside of class."

Stanton and the Orediggers never miss a moment to study or finish homework. As she leaves her class on Separations, she wastes no time going to the locker room, changing, and heating her legs to warm up for practice. While waiting for her calves and hamstrings to reach the right temperature, she reaches for her iPad.

"I think any free moment we have during the day to do homework, we're doing homework," she said. "So when we are done with practice at the end of the day, we don't have to worry about it anymore."

Head coach Brittany Simpson respects the dedication her student-athletes bring to practice and carry with them throughout the day.

"They're bought-in on both fronts, so I think that's what's unique about Mines," Simpson said. "You know, over the years, I've found that less is more at Mines. We give them off on Tuesdays because those are typically test nights. You know, just keep it short for them, let them focus on academics, and try to make this atmosphere fun."

While the workload can be overwhelming, Stanton said she wouldn't trade the lessons she's learned on and off the court at Mines for anything.

"One of the biggest lessons I've learned from basketball is how to fail, because at this school, you're probably going to fail at some point," she said. "I don't think I would've taken the failure so well if I hadn't been in basketball."

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