Hilo Hustlin’: Vulcans’ Aurea Streadbeck and Her Love For Running and Recovery

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED JULY 14, 2023

HONOLULU — Aurea Streadbeck’s love for activity started long before the long-distance runner joined the UH-Hilo cross country program. 

The kinesiology major — exercise science for those who continue to ask her “what is that?” — grew up traversing the soccer pitch while doing an extended amount of running on her own to prepare for her seasons. 

That was before one of her peers approached her about joining the cross-country team at Campbell. After some initial hesitation, Streadbeck found her way on the team. 

“One of my best friends from high school actually told me that I should join the cross-country team at Campbell,” she chuckled as she reminisced. “I knew nothing about cross country or long distance running, so I just took the shot, and I went, and I tried out for my high school team and that was it. I fell in love with the sport.” 

Streadbeck saw improvement in her play on the soccer field after picking up a new sport, entering the year with superior conditioning compared to previous seasons.

Despite soccer being first, cross country quickly surpassed it as her number one activity and outlet. Like most runners, the 2020 graduate of Campbell pursued the “runner’s high” that comes with the exercise. 

As her time at the high school level ended, the opportunity to compete at the college level presented itself to the long-distance runner. While she considered options both on the mainland and the islands, the connection to UH-Hilo and the Vulcans that began her junior year won out in the end and provided a chance to continue competing with some friends and family cheering along the way in-person. 

The rising-senior at Hilo enjoyed success on the Big Island right away, achieving her best placement in an event at 15th during her freshman season. Each of the next two seasons were spent setting personal records in the 5K and 6K events. 

Streadbeck didn’t just keep the success contained to athletics though. Starting her first year at the college level, she would make herself a mainstay on the Academic All-PacWest teams all three seasons of her career. 

She also is a two-time Most Pono Vulcan Award winner for the Hilo XC program, an award voted on by teammates. 

Her desire to pursue physical therapy with her kinesiology degree stems from a personal look at what PT can do for someone following a high school hip surgery she needed that came from a soccer injury. 

“[The surgery and PT] kind of sparked my interest in kinesiology,” Streadbeck mentioned. “I was actually really debating between going into nutrition or kinesiology… [that help] definitely plays a role in it.” 

Streadbeck also gave a deeper look at how life at Campbell helped her as both a student and athlete in her pursuit of higher levels of each, along with how spectating a cross-country meet works for fans and much more. 

For the soon-to-be-senior, cross-country might be ending soon but the running may never stop. She just might be busy helping others get ready to run again in her recovery time.