Before the class of 2019 makes their final farewells to high school cross country and track and field, we want to give everyone a chance to salute them one more time! FLRunners invites all seniors to tell their stories from the past four years.
What was your most memorable race/throw/jump/vault/moment?
My most memorable event was my high jump performance at the 2018 state meet. Before competing in the high jump, I ran the 800m. After finishing the race I ended up falling out and hitting my head. Shortly after getting up and collecting myself I had to go over to the high jump. My teammates and coaches could tell something was off about me, that I couldn't recognize at the time, but instead of worrying me about it they just cheered louder. Before I knew it I was participating in a jump off and a little after that I ended up tying for second place. Before my junior year I didn't think I was good enough to compete in the open high jump because of my height. It was a real eye opener and has become one of my favorite events to compete in ever since
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
In all honesty, I would have to say my biggest competition was myself. After my hamstring injury it was a constant battle with myself.
What was your greatest accomplishment?
I'd have to say that my greatest accomplishment would have to be tying for second place at states with a concussion.
Who would you consider your biggest role model over your four years competing?
My biggest role model would be my older sister, Denise. She's set such a good example for me on and off the track. She's always there for me after I run to talk about it even though she's many, many states away
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running or field career in high school?
If I could do it all again then I wouldn't change a thing. Yes, there are things that could've gone a lot better; however, everything happens for a reason. These last four years have made me the person I am now and my next four will just capitalize off those prior.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome? How did you overcome them?
My most difficult obstacle to overcome was the massive hamstring injury I had during the district meet my freshman year.
The fact that I had to start from square one and didn't have the ability to just bounce back really broke me, more so mentally and emotionally. It took a huge toll on me and practically any bit of confidence or love I had for the sport.
I don't really like to touch base on this story all that much, but it's made me into the athlete I am today. With the help of teammates and coaches that seen my potential, along with friends and family, I was able to overcome this obstacle. Not as soon as I would've liked to but better late than never
What will you miss the most?
The thing I'll miss the most is pre-season/cross country season. When me and my teammates would have early morning practices then go out for a team breakfast. You know, the calm before the storm.
What advice would you give to younger athletes?
My advice to younger athletes would be to have fun doing what they do. It's okay to be serious but it's also important to remember to have fun.
What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
I have many coaches and they've all taught me so much but I'll only tell about one thing they've each done. Coach Spann taught me how to respect time, whether it be during a workout or in everyday life. Time isn't something you can get back. Once it's gone it's gone so respect it and be where you have to be, or do what you have to do, on time. Coach Brown helped me gain confidence in the social aspect of my life after my injury freshman year, while Coach Rashard helped me gain confidence in the performance side. Coach Mercedes taught me that I should treat the (javelin) runway like life. If I can walk out into the world with confidence everyday then I throw the same way, even if I don't think I belong. Coach Henderson taught me that repetition on things I've already done well with is also essential for progression. Coach James taught me to never forget where I came from. I am beyond thankful for each and every one of them, and I'll be sure to remember everything they've taught me moving forward.
What are your post-high school or college plans?
I will be attending Eastern Michigan University majoring in exercise science.
Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?
I would like to thank God for not only allowing me to finish this season healthy, but also for allowing me to run for so long. Thank you to my friends and family for providing me with the support system and cheerleading team I needed all throughout high school. Thank you to my coaches, all of them, for making me into an athlete that is ready to take on the next step in life.