What was your most memorable race/meet?
Team-wise, I would definitely say getting 2nd at states my sophomore year because it was so unexpected and the highest Lakewood Ranch has ever placed. Individually, my most memorable race was the 3200m at FSU Relays. I remember being incredibly nervous for it because I wanted to break 11 and I knew it would it would be a totally stacked race. A huge storm caused us to run about an hour later and we ran under the lights. My family was there and a few of my best friends that go to FSU came to cheer me on. It was my favorite race for so many reasons.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?
My team’s 4x800 state title, without a doubt. It was the most meaningful and special race that I had ever ran. It meant the world to us to finally be able to say that we were state champions. We were blessed with many state runner-up titles but getting that gold is something we had worked years for.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
Sometimes I think that I should have tried harder, trained more or worked harder but then I remember that each workout, race and experience I’ve had has shaped me into the runner I am now. I’ve learned that God’s plan never fails.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
I went through a total sophomore slump that left me with no PRs and virtually no advancement in my running career. I had a whole new team full of naturally super-talented girls who pushed me in practices and meets everyday, and was much different than the somewhat laidback freshmen year I had experienced. Running just seemed harder sophomore year. However, with the help of my family and coaches, I was able to embrace these challenges and learn how to overcome them.
What will you miss the most?
I’ll miss the meets that I’ve gone to since 9th grade, road races with the local running clubs, gaining new friends from all around the state and honestly, every aspect of my experience at LRHS. Especially the simple things like our “fun days”, signature pre-race team cheer, sketchy hotels, homemade Apples to Apples on long bus rides and embarrassing each other in front of other runners at meets. I’ll miss all the little things with my team more than anything.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
You never know how good you can be at something until you really put in the work for it. I’ve definitely learned that runners have a way of surprising themselves. This applies to everything though, not just cross or track. You all have the ability to become something special and that’s something you shouldn’t take for granted. Look for new ways to improve yourself and make a positive impact on the people around you while doing it.
What are your college plans?
I will be running cross country and track & field for the University of Florida. I’ll also be majoring in telecommunications in hopes of becoming a sports broadcaster.
First and foremost, I want to thank Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, for all of the experiences I was able to have these past 4 years. I’m so thankful for the gift of running that he has instilled in me and hope to do nothing but bring Him praise and glory through it. I definitely want to thank my mom and dad for supporting me in all of my endeavors and raising me the way that they did. I also would like to thank Coach Thomas, Coach Quinn and Coach Napier for training me all 4 years and helping me reach the goals I set for myself. My teammates have become my sisters over these past 3 years and a simple “thank you” will never be enough for all that they’ve taught me.