The 2015-2016 school year has provided some great highlights in both cross country and track across the Sunshine State. In the coming weeks many of our seniors will head out to start their college careers both athletically and academically. We wanted to salute them one more time in this special feature and say thank you for your support over the years.
What was your most memorable race/moment?
There were so many, but I guess my most memorable race was my very first. It was required at Gulfview Middle School that we run a race called the Turkey Trot on the last day of school before Thanksgiving break. I had never run a competitive race in my life, except for when I was on the soccer field, so I was a little nervous. The race was 1.8 miles long, and I ended up winning the race for the entire school as a 6th grader. Shortly after the race I was approached and asked to run Track that season and of course Cross Country in fall. I went on to be county Champion and have been running ever since.
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
My biggest competitor was Sarah Candiano from ECS. I had one of the best runners in the state in my district! She was the fasted girl I had ever seen. She was a grade above me, so when she graduated and signed with FSU, I was sad that I would no longer be able to compete in HS against her, but also happy that I no longer had a state champion in my district. She always pushed me to run faster, and she is a great friend. I wish her the best! I hope to emulate her career in the Big 12.
What was your greatest accomplishment?
I so proud of many of my accomplishments. I guess the continued progression and movement up the charts was huge. I have generally trained at low mileage and feel there will be so much upside once in college at TCU. I guess my greatest accomplishments was running three races (tripling) this past season at the Florida Track & Field State meet at IMG. I finished in the top 6 in all my events with the highlight being a runner finish in the 3200m. I went all out winning the Region the week before and was fighting a bad chest cold. I battled through it and finished strong in all 3 events. I was thrilled I was able to lead my team to a metal in the 4x800 as we were seated outside medal contention going in and pulled it off with a great race.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
I don't think I would change anything about my high school career. I have no regrets and loved every minute. I appreciate everyone who supported me along the way. Go CSN!
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
I am so proud of finishing strong at the end of the season, especially as I matured as a runner. Early on in my career, I did not go through the same recovery processes I do now and did not train with the same intensity I do now. I believe all of my work has propelled me to really take off in college and has kept me relatively injury free.
What will you miss the most?
I'lI will miss all the familiar faces. I loved running against .people I knew and was familiar with and had friendships with. Now that I am going to be continuing my running career at Texas Christian University I will not know most of my competitors the way I do now. I love the friendships I have made, and the familiarity of courses. I am excited about the challenges ahead, competing in the Big 12 and the prospects of being with a new team of great women at TCU.
What advice would you give younger athletes?
My advice would be to not be afraid to fail. In running, you fail quite often. Sometimes you may not get a PR, sometimes you may not run the pace you wanted to, and sometimes maybe your rival will beat you, but if you focus on your mistakes you will never be able to move forward. My advice is to take everything in, and to get back up every time you fall. Learn from your mistakes and keep keep moving forward!!
What influence has your coach/coaches had with respect to your performance and overall goals?
My coaches were always there for me. They constantly would pushed me to be the best person and runner I could be. They have had a tremendous influence on me and taught me how to succeed..
What are your college plans?
I signed a scholarship in November and plan to continue my running career in both Cross Country & Track in the Big 12 at Texas Christian University (TCU). They have an excellent coaching staff, and the team made me feel right at home. I loved the beautiful campus, the facilities are all brand new and state of the art. I loved the town of Fort Worth. I am excited to be majoring in Sports Broadcasting in the 5th largest media market in the country.
Who would you like to say thank you to?
The people I would like to thank the most is my mom Lisa, my dad Santo, and my brother Drew. They have supported me throughout my career and will continue to do so in college. I also want to Thank all my coaches, teammates and my School, CSN for always providing me the best opportunities to succeed.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I so excited to start the next chapter in my life and cannot wait to get to work at TCU!!! Go Frogs!!!