AUT Associate Professor, Erica Hinckson, has been inducted into the University of California, San Diego’s (UCSD’s) Athletics Hall of Fame. The former UCSD student was recognised for her significant achievements in track and field, and her exceptional contribution to the heritage of UCSD Athletics.
Among her achievements at UCSD, Assoc Prof Hinckson set a 100m record that stood for 12 years and – at 12.01 seconds – remains a top 10 all-time finish. She achieved ten All-American titles, and in 1992 won the 100m title at the National Collegiate Championships (NCAA III).
Assoc Prof Hinckson was welcomed into the Hall of Fame at an exclusive induction ceremony in San Diego. Here she was honoured not only by UCSD, but also by members of her 4 x 100m relay team, her coach Wes Williams, and her father and long-time coach Frank Hinckson.
“It was an emotional and meaningful day,” she says. “It meant the world to me to have Dad and Wes there, and to hear them reflect on my time at USCD.”
Coach Wes Williams paid tribute to her enquiring and driven approach. “I was the kind of athlete who didn’t take anything at face value,” she says. “I was always wanting to know how our training would benefit me, so I always challenged him!”
These attributes have stood her well in her career both on and off the track. After graduating from UCSD with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry & Cell Biology, Assoc Prof Hinckson completed a summer internship in exercise physiology and realised she could combine her two loves of sport and biochemistry. She went on to attain a Masters in Exercise & Movement Science, before completing her PhD in Sport Physiology.
Today she is the Associate Dean of Postgraduate for AUT’s Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, an Associate Professor within the School of Sport and Recreation and an active researcher in the areas of children’s physical activity, youth health, and the built environment as it impacts active / sedentary lifestyles.
She is also a coach to her 16 year old son Markos, a promising 400m runner who aspires to win a scholarship to study and compete in the USA. The Rosmini College student is currently working towards the National Secondary Schools Athletics Competition in December, and hopes to achieve qualifying times during upcoming seasons that will earn him a place at one of America’s top universities.
The UCSD honour could not have come at a better time for Assoc Prof Hinckson. “It was a really touching and unexpected acknowledgement of my achievements on the track,” she says. “But it’s also great inspiration for my son, who is training hard and chasing his own goals as an athlete.”