What was your most memorable race?
The most memorable race I’ve had would have to be my 55 meter dash at Jimmy Carnes this year. (in addition to my entire indoor season this past season). It set the tone for how I would perform the remainder of the year and it gave me a great deal of confidence.
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
I am continuously running against new girls, meaning my competition is always changing. So my biggest competition over the years would be myself. Track is a very technical sport and we all have flaws to perfect.
What was your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment was improving my time this year during the summer after having a late outdoor season. It showed that hard work and perseverance pays off. I feel as though I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
If I could do it all over again, I would focus on keeping good running habits, and staying explosive and powerful. It wasn't until the last few years of high school that those things became a major focus for me.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
The most difficult obstacle I had to overcome was staying positive, and being physically and mentally tough during a very strenuous strength program after a simple stumble on my knee during practice. It turned out to be the best, most effective, very much needed training program I’ve ever experienced. A minor setback, for a major comeback.
What will you miss the most?
I am going to miss running in the Optimist meets and meeting new people. Just the good fun and friendly competition.
What advice you would give to younger athletes?
If track is what you really want to do, then stay motivated, work hard and keep trying even when the going gets tough. The hard work and dedication will all pay off in the end. Track builds character and the “good” habits of working hard for that which you believe in. Not just on the track, but in the classroom as well. Also, good nutrition works hand in hand with good running – what goes in, will come out! Remember hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work.
What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
I have been blessed to have a great coach who believed in me and was able to instill a great work ethic in me. Each summer my time has gotten better. He taught me that if you put the work in, it will pay off. When I met him, the first thing he asked about were my grades. That made me feel good. He has been very encouraging and dedicated to seeing me succeed, which I am very much appreciative.
What are your college plans?
I plan to continue competing while attending the University of South Florida. I am a medical major (Neonatology). I will have a minor in sports medicine and plan to extend my knowledge into the world of “sports”. I adore small children and want to assist them in as many ways as I can whether it is helping to instill character, or my assistance in rehabilitation my college study will be focused in these areas.
Who would you like to say thank you to?
I would like to say thank you to FLRunners.com for all of the exposure they’ve allowed the ”tracksters” and our youth track community in general. It has helped put us on the map and to know that there is more than just local circuit meets to run. I’d also like to thank all of my coaches especially Coach Lisa of Lakes Track Club, my very first track coach and the greatest track team ever. Even today she always lets me know that hard work pays off. To Coach Wilkerson for always encouraging me.To the Miramar and PHEAT track clubs for the great trips. I’d also like to thank Coach D. Thomas for always pushing me past my limit and Lady Coach for having me stab apples!
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I’d like to add that track is a great avenue to teaching good work ethics and good sportsmanship. Here’s to coaches taking advantage of that and making it about the kids!
Do you know a class of 2014 track and field or cross country athlete? We'd like to salute them! Have them answer the following questions plus send 2-3 photos (can not be from another website or publication) to Todd.Grasley@flocasts.com.