Mia Barron’s time at UVA has brought about challenges that have helped mold her into the resilient young woman she is today.
Getting to Know Mia Barron
Mia Barron’s time at UVA has brought about challenges that have helped mold her into the resilient young woman she is today. The third-year long jumper on the track and field team hails from Minnetonka, Minnesota, where her entire family was born and raised within 15 minutes of one another. Rather than accepting her offer to attend and compete for the University of Minnesota with the luxury of surrounding family, Mia decided to expand her horizons and attend UVA. She said, “It really wasn’t a hard decision for me. UVA was the total package. I felt at home with the team and UVA’s academics are second to none. The beautiful campus and nice weather didn’t hurt either!”
Although moving from Minnesota to Virginia was an adjustment, Mia became acclimated quickly noting, “I think that coming from Minnesota and not knowing anyone when I got to UVA gave me a unique perspective. It allowed me to meet people from all over the world who are now some of my best friends. Growing up in Minnetonka, it was kind of like a little bubble. I’ve always been an outgoing person but having to make all new friends pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me much more sure of who I am and who I want to be.”
Mia was off to a solid start in her first indoor season when she ruptured ligaments in her ankle and was forced to undergo reconstructive ankle surgery in the spring of 2015. As a result, she redshirted the outdoor season of 2015 and the following indoor season of 2016. When asked about her attitude after the injury she said, “Being out for a full year with the constant worry of not being the same jumper I was before I got hurt was tough, but I was determined not to let that happen. I worked diligently on my rehab and got creative with my workouts so I could stay in shape.” The crafty workouts that Mia and the training staff came up with through her rehabilitation certainly cast away her previous worry of not being the same jumper. When she returned to competition for the 2016 outdoor season, Mia set personal records of 20′ 5″ and 40′ 8.25″ in the long jump and triple jump, respectively. This was the first time in her career that she eclipsed the 20-foot mark in the long jump. She said, “Finally, after being out with my ankle injury for a year, I did it at our big home meet in front of my parents and my friends. It was the most amazing feeling! Injuries happen but the important thing is to not count yourself out. You can find ways to keep getting better at your sport even while you’re hurt and that’s exactly what I did.”
Mia came to UVA with aspirations of someday becoming a sideline reporter. As a Media Studies major at the University she has had the opportunity to hone her reporting skills and further explore what such a career will entail. When asked why she is interested in the profession, she said, “I love sports and I can’t imagine my life without them. I’m also a people-person through and through so I can definitely see myself doing the job. Every experience I’ve had in the field has made me want to pursue it as a career even more.” She is currently in a yearlong TV reporting class where students post their stories to UVA’s student-owned and operated video and print journalism station, WUVA News.
When given the chance to thank the VAF and donors, Mia said, “Thank you for allowing me to compete at this fantastic University with my awesome team all while getting an incredible education. Every kid involved in sports dreams about receiving an athletics scholarship and I am so fortunate to have one.”