Today we continue our Salute to Seniors series with four talented athletes from around the state. If you are a senior and would like to take part, or know one who would, CLICK HERE for instructions on how to do so!
Name: Madison Hulsey
School: Lee's Summit West High School
Q: What does your training look like right now given the current situation?
A: Coach Griffin has been sending us workouts, and a few teammates and I meet up at a nearby track and run together.
Q: What are you doing to stay busy other than run right now?
A: I've been watching a lot of movies, taking naps, baking, cleaning and reorganizing rooms, and spending time with my family. I start online school here soon so that will also keep me busy.
Q: What was your most memorable race/moment?
A: I'd say my most memorable moment was seeing Coach Painting so happy when we won the McQuaid Invitational in New York last year. That was his home town and it was really special for us to compete well at the same meet he did when he was younger. He had such a big smile and it made the trip that much better.
Q: What was the funniest thing that happened during your running career?
A: One of the funniest things that happened was my sophomore year when we were at the Arcadia Invitational in California. We stayed in hotels that had small kitchens, and after our last race (at like 11 PM), decided to make homemade chicken tenders. After cooking them, I accidentally left the oil on the hot burner and it started smoking after a few minutes. The fire alarms went off and the managers had to come check on us in the middle of the night. They weren't too happy and neither was Coach Griffin. It wasn't all that funny then, but it is something we laugh about a lot now.
Q: Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
A: Over the last 4 years I have had the opportunity to race against so many great girls, however, I'd say my biggest competition has been my teammates. They push me everyday in practice to be the best I can be, and we have used each other in races to accomplish great things.
Q: What was your greatest accomplishment?
A: I'd say my biggest accomplishment was helping my team win the DMR at New Balance Nationals in 2019. It was so special to share that with them and accomplish such a big goal. We had worked hard all winter and spring, and I didn't have the best day at the State meet earlier that year, so it was a really rewarding way to end the season.
Q: If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
A: Absolutely nothing. These last 4 years haven't been perfect, but I wouldn't change any of it because I have made so many friendships and memories. I hope we get the chance to finish it out.
Q: What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
A: Definitely my stress fracture junior year. I noticed it the week before the State XC meet and battled it until Nike Regionals. I had to take about 6 weeks off of running and do a lot of swimming and elliptical work. It was really tough mentally to not be able to run with my teammates, but it all paid off when I got to race again in the spring.
Q: What will you miss the most?
A: I will definitely miss my team the most. They are like my second family and I am going to miss being with them so often. We have been so lucky to have the opportunity to go on cool trips and make lots of memories together. They are a special group of girls who work hard and motivate me everyday, but also know how to make me laugh and keep things fun.
Q: What advice would you give to younger athletes?
A: Do all of the little things and give it your all, but make sure to have fun with it, too. These four years go by way faster than you think, so make sure to enjoy every moment you have.
Q: What kind of an impact has your coach had on you and your team?
A: Coach Griffin is one of the most dedicated people I know. He puts in 1000% everyday. He plans out workouts, sends a million emails, and spends a lot of his own time making us the best we can be. However, he also cares about us as more than runners and gets to know us as people too. I am so lucky to have had such a great coach. Coach Painting and Coach Argotsinger have also helped our team so much. We could not have accomplished everything we have without their help.
Q: What are your college plans?
A: I will be attending the University of Mississippi to run cross country and track. I also plan on studying biology.
Q: Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?
A: I would like to thank my parents, friends, and coaches. Most of all, I'd like to thank my teammates. They have supported me so much and have really helped me become the runner and person I am today. I'm gonna miss y'all so much next year.