In her senior year of high school, Courtney Dobbs had no idea that she would eventually be a star of Virginia Tech’s women’s track and field team. Then again, she didn’t even know she’d end up at Tech in the first place.
“It wasn’t my first choice before I visited, but after I visited I just had this feeling that it was the right place to go,” Dobbs said.
Now a redshirt junior, Dobbs has raced for three years and was redshirted last year in order for her to be at Tech for a fifth year. Now in her fourth year and a top runner, Dobbs has a significant leadership role on the team.
“I would say that I am definitely somebody who encourages the girls and challenges them to go above and beyond their expectations,” she said.
Growing up, Courtney was always associated with her two sisters, Erica and Laura, but when college came around and all three made different choices, the trio was separated and Courtney was no longer just another Dobbs sister.
That independence only lasted for so long though; her sister Erica decided to transfer from Tech’s archrival, University of Virginia.
“You have to take risks when you decide to transfer and this was probably one of the greatest risks I’ve ever taken,” Erica said.
As an athlete, the transferring process was a tedious one.
“I had to contact the coach and then once I got the ‘OK’ from the coach, I was released from the team already so I could contact Tech’s coach. Once I contacted the coach we had to deal with the ACC and NCAA issues because it’s in-conference transferring,” Erica said. “But since I never actually competed at UVa, it kind of allowed me to not have to go through as many hoops and not have to sit out a year.”
Knowing that she wanted to transfer, the fact that her sister was already running for the Hokies and could offer her support had a huge impact on her decision to come to Tech.
“Another reason why I wanted to transfer was because I would have an extra support system. It’s always nice having family close,” Erica, just 11 months Courtney’s junior, said.
The sisters live in Glen Allen and attended Deep Run High School along with fellow Tech runner Madalyn Nuckols. Having lived under the same roof their entire lives, and now that the sisters were at the same school, it only made sense for them to be roommates.
“I think that living together brought us together more because we learned to adapt to each other’s weaknesses and I guess pet peeves,” Courtney, who finished ninth in the 10,000 meters at the 2013 outdoor ACC Championships, said, “We kind of learned how to work with each other better now that we live together and are together all of the time.”