A: My most memorable race is a toss up between GACs and Districts in the 1600 this year. Both races were equally unexpected getting third and fourth respectively. I think Conference wins over Districts because it was a beautiful sunny day and my coach was hyped out of his mind. It was a basically perfectly executed race and I couldn't believe what had happened for probably 3 hours.
Q: What was the funniest thing that happened during your running career?
A: The funniest thing that happened in my running career is a hard one. I think it would have to be this winter when a group of us were running on ice and our coach C-Tay fell on the ice. It was genuinely the funniest thing I've ever experienced. I had no clue if he was okay but i just busted up laughing. Then later he told us he was worried he couldn't play video games because his hand was bruised.
Q: Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
A: I think my biggest competition would be my own team. We had a very stacked team for awhile and they pushed me to have to be the best I could be or else I would not have been able to compete at the level I wanted.
Q: What was your greatest accomplishment?
A: I think my greatest accomplishment was getting to sectionals in the 1600. I was a sprinter my sophomore year and only broke 6 one time before this track season. So, to on my own accord make it to sectionals in the 1600 was my biggest accomplishment.
Q: If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
A: If I could do it all over I would've joined XC my freshman year and never looked back. I can't even imagine what I would've been capable of if I would've competed in distance for all 4 years.
Q: What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
A: The most difficult obstacle I had to overcome was my own belief that I didn't belong where I brought myself to. Every time I lined up at the line I felt like I didn't belong there and that I was a fraud. I had to overcome my own belief of who I was. Navigating changing from a sprinter to a distance runner was also challenging. That took some of the hardest work and determination I have ever had to put forth, but it was so worth it.
Q: What will you miss the most?
A: I will miss running track and XC as I embark into road racing, but I will miss my teammates and coach the most. We (especially this year) became a really close family. We went through everything, running or not, together. Our endless jokes, stories, and adventure Friday's will be a huge thing I'll miss.
Q: What advice would you give to younger athletes?
A: I would tell younger runners to trust your coach and trust yourself. You have no idea what you are capable of until you grind it out and put in the work. Don't expect anything to be handed to you and sometimes even when you think you deserve something there's a bigger plan that what you have in mind. Running isn't a sport that just gives you anything, you have to work for it and embrace the inevitable, but wonderful pain train.
Q: What kind of an impact has your coach had on you and your team?
A: My coach C-Tay and I joined Howell Track at the same time. He coached me in the 400 and then we both moved into the crazy realm of XC and distance running together. He helped me in my own personal goals with our little goal meetings and running logs. I wouldn't be where I am if it weren't for his belief in me. He had to take a dumpster fire that was left for him and create a new culture. It isn't easy for him but I know it has made all the difference. He helped us get to state as a team for XC for the first time in years. He's really been a huge asset to our team and I know he's just getting started.
Q: What are your college plans?
A: I am attending Oklahoma State university this fall and am racing a half marathon with hopes of a marathon next year!
Q: Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?
A: I'd like to say thanks to my teammates for all our therapy runs, ice baths, TMI talks, and every moment we've had together. I'd like to thank my parents even though they don't understand running and for going to endless rainy meets. And of course C-Tay for texting me "are you doing XC?" changing the trajectory of my running career.
Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
A: Also I want to say that I've learned that freshman can teach you how to not take yourself too seriously and enjoy life so maybe allow them to run with you sometimes ;)