DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke women's tennis team closed out its season with a 16-10 overall record and a NCAA Sweet 16 appearance. Recently, GoDuke.com sat down with senior Mary Clayton to learn more about the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., native.
GoDuke.com: What has been your proudest moment at Duke?
Mary Clayton: Advancing to sweet 16 with five (insanely strong) players after a season of traumatizing adversity.
GoDuke.com: What is the most misunderstood thing about your sport?
MC: That it’s easy. Until you compete at a high level it’s difficult to understand the extent of the mental and physical capacity you need to be good.
GoDuke.com: What is your favorite part of being a Duke student-athlete?
MC: Being a part of a team and having the ability to represent Duke on a large scale.
GoDuke.com: Are there any words of wisdom you’d like to pass along to freshman and future Blue Devils?
MC: Stay in the moment but always remind yourself how lucky you are to be at this incredible university and a part of this team. You only live once and life really is too short so make the best of it.
GoDuke.com: What was your favorite food when you were a child?
MC: The combination of cream of wheat and wheat toast with a ton of butter and strawberry jelly. Vanilla cake is an all-time favorite though.
GoDuke.com: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? What do you want to be now?
MC: I rode horses from a young age and always thought I was going to be a jockey-- my height may have played into that idea too. Now, although I’m not quite sure I’m grown up yet, I’m pursuing my interest in the finance world.
GoDuke.com: Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?
MC: My mother. She has taught me that kindness goes the furthest, to stay tough, to give more than you take, and that honesty is a saving mechanism.
GoDuke.com: If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
MC: Ration it off to every person and organization (PETA and the Humane Society would be high on the list) that deserves it, and then buy a vacation house.
GoDuke.com: If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
MC: I would have to say mind reading and invisibility.
GoDuke.com: What's your favorite midnight snack?
MC: Cereal at midnight but I prefer quesadillas two hours later.