How Chase Davies ’22 helped update the university's curriculum while breaking records in one of track's toughest events
Chase Davies ’22 knows all about balance. The Management major is captain of the track and field team and a school record holder in three events: the 60-meter hurdles, 100-meter hurdles and heptathlon, a difficult two-day, seven-discipline event that ranges from a 200-meter sprint to the shot put. She was Northeast-10 champion in the heptathlon this past spring. As if that wasn't enough, Davies was part of the Core Curriculum Redesign Board, a group assigned to update Bentley’s academic offerings to ensure students continue to be a force for positive change in the world after graduation.
We caught up with Davies during a rare break to learn how she balances her studies with training for one of track’s most difficult events.
You’re a transfer student. What drew you to Bentley?
I spent my freshman year at St. Lawrence University. After spending a year there, I realized that I needed to be at a business school to be ready to enter the business world upon graduation. Bentley’s proximity to Boston was something that I also missed. I grew up in Marblehead, about 30 minutes north of Boston. The Greater Boston area offers so much, whether it’s job opportunities or activities to keep busy. Additionally, the fact that Bentley has an amazing track and field team really sealed the deal.
How is the transition for a student-athlete transferring to a new school?
Being a student-athlete made the transfer process exponentially easier. During my second week at Bentley, walking into my first practice, I immediately knew that the track and field team was something special. Even though the team has about 60 people on it, it felt much smaller. Every single person came up to me that day to introduce themselves and welcome me. I also soon realized that the entire athletic community at Bentley is incredibly tightknit. It’s the little things that take place within the athletic community at Bentley — like wishing each other good luck before a big game or meet, or congratulating them on a win — that shows the closeness of the athletes, regardless of their sport.
Transferring from a Division III school to a Division II school definitely was an adjustment. The competition is fiercer, and there is a much stronger commitment required, but I love that. The great thing about track at Bentley is that we not only compete against the Northeast-10 schools, but also Division I schools like the University of Texas, even some Olympians. During my first season at Bentley, I competed at a meet that had over 2,000 athletes. At this meet, Lolo Jones was competing in the 60-meter hurdles, as was I. Lolo Jones is a two-time world champion and former American record holder in the event. It was such a crazy experience to be competing against her!
Athletics have been a huge part of my life. I was captain of the ski team in high school and a state champion. I was a nationally ranked gymnast until I was 16, when I fractured my back and was forced to give it up. I started track junior year and fell in love with it. Playing sports was something that was second nature to me for as long as I can remember. The fact that Bentley had a great track team played an enormous role in my decision to transfer. I don’t think I could imagine myself not playing a sport in college.
Bentley student-athletes are always near the top of NCAA academic rankings. How do you balance studies and sports?
It’s definitely tough. Every Bentley student takes a very rigorous course load. The only way to balance the two is to stick to a schedule. I go to classes in the morning, eat lunch and then get a little bit of homework done. At 3:45 every afternoon, I have practice for about two hours. After, I go grab dinner with the team and then head home to start my homework. In season, I don’t really have time for much else during the week. After my meets on the weekend is my “free time.” During the week I stick to my schedule or everything starts to fall apart.
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To compete in the heptathlon, you do the 100-meter hurdles, 200-meter sprint, high jump, long jump, javelin throw, shot put, and 800-meter run. Which is your toughest? Your favorite?
My toughest event is absolutely the 800 meters. It’s always the last event, so I am pretty tired at that point. I am not built for long-distance running, but I am super competitive. This means that I often collapse to the ground after I cross the finish line because I gave the race everything I have left in me. My favorite event is definitely the hurdles. For some reason, the hurdles just really click with me. I really enjoy fine-tuning my hurdling technique each day and seeing the results on meet day. Not to mention the feeling of achievement when you’re the first to cross the finish line.
You were on a recent task force to update the university's curriculum. What was that like?
There was a rigorous application process, and I was one of a handful of students accepted. We worked through all of this past school year to create a new core curriculum that adapts to changes in society and the business world. The idea is to make sure the Bentley curriculum best serves all of our students.
How will being a Bentley student-athlete help you after graduation?
I think that being a student-athlete sets you apart from the rest. When employers see that you’re a student-athlete, it makes you stand out. It also means that you have spent your entire life perfecting your time-management skills. I am planning on going into sales, and competitiveness is a huge part of sales. My athletic background will help my competitive spirit funnel into something else — a successful business career.