The First Academy senior Caroline Crist has been running for the Royals since she was in the 7th grade. Last year Crist won the 1A District 10 Championship and was 22nd at the Cross Country Finals. We caught up with her to talk about her start in the sport, 2016 season, and goals for 2017 in this Spotlight Athlete feature.
How long have you been running and how did you get started?
I have been running officially since 7th grade cross country season, however I can remember doing the turkey trot every Thanksgiving with my family from a very young age.
Do you remember your first real race?
My first real race was the Ted Benz Invitational when I was in 6th grade. I ran a 22:05 and I still have my race bib from that day.
How was your summer training?
Summer training was awesome, I was able to run on a boardwalk parallel to a beach in Maryland and in the woods of Canada while on vacation.
What was your 2016 XC season like?
My 2016 season was exciting to say the least. With my 3rd individual district title and a new school record, I accomplished my goals for the season.
What's a typical training week like?
A typical week would include: distance, speed, recovery, distance, and hitting the weight room at least twice a week!
What is your favorite workout?
My favorite workout is "Flying 30's". They consist of 5 meter warm up and cool down zones with a 30 meter stride zone in between. My team has named them "Flying Caitlin's" after my former teammate and friend who loved them as much as I did.
Which meets will you be running in this year?
My team is scheduled to run the Warriors Jamboree, Jim Ryun Invite, Astronaut Invitational, Hagerty Invitational, UF Mt. Dew Invitational, FLRunners Invitational Mount Dora Christian Invitational, and Roaring Lion Invitational.
Do you have a favorite course? What do you think is the toughest course in the state?
My favorite course is the race at Foundation Academy at which I ran my PR. There are plenty of tough courses, I think one that challenges me is the State Meet in Tallahassee, with the long start and the steep hill, this makes for quite the challenge.
Out of all your running accomplishments so far, which stands out the most?
I was most proud of breaking my older sister's school record with a 19:32 at Foundation Academy this past season.
What are your goals for the upcoming cross country season?
This season I hope to break into the 19:20 range and be a leader to my team.
What do you love most about running?
I love having a natural discipline in every aspect of my life and running helps me do everything to my best ability. Getting to explore exciting places on runs that many people wouldn't know about.
The Low Down
Do you have a favorite quote?
"Don't trade authenticity for approval."
Do you have any pre-race rituals or routines?
Eating lots of carbs (obviously) and praying with my team.
What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is anything Chinese.
What was the last movie you saw and what did you think of it?
Wonder Woman! I saw it with my dad and then again the next morning with my teammate, Hannah. I loved it, it was powerful with a strong female role and very exciting with the action packed fight scenes. Patty Jenkins (the director) did an outstanding job.
What brand of shoes do you train/race in?
I have been wearing the Mizuno Wave Riders for the most part since 7th grade.
What professional athlete would you like to meet the most?
I would have loved to meet Louie Zamperini. The book Unbroken was an inspiring story of his running career, extreme challenges while serving our country in World War 2, and his life dedicated to Christ after the war.
What are somethings most people don't know about you?
I have dual citizenship in Canada because my mom was born there!
Lastly, if you were stranded on an island with three things what would they be?
Survival Island: A hat, matches, and a knife.
Fun Island: A bathing suit, a camera, and running shoes.