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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Callista Balko

    UA catcher Callista Balko, middle, visits pitcher Taryne Mowatt in the circle during the Wildcats 1-0 victory over Tennessee on June 5 in the second game of the Womens College World Series. Balko, a finalist for Homecoming queen, vies for the crown tonight.
    UA catcher Callista Balko, middle, visits pitcher Taryne Mowatt in the circle during the Wildcats’ 1-0 victory over Tennessee on June 5 in the second game of the Women’s College World Series. Balko, a finalist for Homecoming queen, vies for the crown tonight.

    Q & A

    Arizona softball senior Callista Balko was recently announced as a Homecoming Queen finalist, and the Wildcat caught up with her to discuss the honor.

    Wildcat: How did your Homecoming Queen nomination come about?

    Balko: I didn’t actually know I was nominated. A few of our administrators in our athletics department just nominated me on their own. Once I found out, it was a huge honor. I actually didn’t find out until I got the letter.

    W: What was your teammates’ initial reaction?

    B: A lot of the girls are really excited for me. They know it’s a really hard process to go through. I think they’re going to come out and show their support.

    W: What was UA head coach Mike Candrea’s reaction?

    B: He told me he was really proud of me and really excited for me. He made a joke saying, “”You better win this thing,”” because I missed a few practices for the Homecoming events. He jokingly put a little pressure on me.

    W: How much work is entailed in the process?

    B: It’s a pretty tight schedule. Originally, before it comes down to the top five, you have to attend two mixers – an hour-long mini-party where you get to know the people that vote for you. After, you have to go through an interview, too. On Monday, basically every night (of Homecoming week), we go out and meet different groups on campus, like fraternities and sororities, just to get Homecoming promoted and get our name out there. During the afternoon, we do events on the Mall, which is two hours out of the day just to get your name out there. The events are tons of fun – that’s the most exciting part of the thing. … It’s a lot, but it’s well worth it.

    W: How have you gained

    supporters?

    B: That’s kind of difficult. Obviously, you don’t just want to be like, “”Vote for me.”” I’m just hoping that being an athlete – athletes tend to be really supportive of each other. I hope that I get a lot of support from my fellow athletes. I definitely voted for both (swimmers) Whitney Myers and Adam Ritter last year. Just from knowing athletes and knowing everyone in McKale, that’s where I get most of my votes from.

    W: What qualities do you have that Homecoming queens should?

    B: You definitely need to be a leader – that’s the most important thing to me. You’re representing your entire school. If I’m leading on and off the field, I’m being a good representative of not only my team but my whole school. You also need to be a people-person, outgoing, active and always giving back to your community. All of us nominees have definitely done that.

    W: Finish this sentence: “”If voted homecoming queen, I …””

    B: Will buy myself something? I don’t know. I’m not going to really do much with it. Maybe I’ll set my crown in my room somewhere. I’ll just be excited.

    -as told to Bryan Roy

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