Cross Country Q&A - Mary Kate Ponder

(Photos by Ralph Epifiano/Jeff Adams)

How would you describe your senior season?


I feel like it has been pretty short because I did not start until around Bale N' Trail so I had a later start, but I feel like I am peaking near the right time.

Are you pleased with the way it's going?

Yeah, I want to PR again though very soon.

The state meet is this weekend. What kind of workouts have you done this week to prepare yourself?

This week I have been tapering a lot to be good and fresh. I did some 1200s at slower pace, worked on my form, and did some lower intensity workouts at the same distance.

A lot of people predict Bridget Blake to win the 4A meet. Do you look at rankings or do they not matter to you?

I know most of the competition before each meet, but my main goal is to just go out there and run my own race.

What is your game plan for the state meet having run against a majority of the top girls last week at regionals?

I would like to win, but  my strategy is to just go out and run with Bridget Blake and see where it goes the last 200. I just have to remember that anything can happen so you never know what girls will run their best. I am just hoping to run as best as I can. If it comes down to a kick I would give it everything I had.

Would you say your kick is your strong point?

I think so.

What are your goals for state and what would it mean to go out in your senior year as champion?

My goals are to win and go under 18 minutes. It would tie up my running career on a very high note. It would show how much effort I put in and how blessed I have been to run cross country.

Do you plan on running any postseason meets?

I am planning on running the FACA Senior All-Star Meet in December and running Foot Locker South. My goals are to advance from Foot Locker and go out with a bang. I am so excited for them.

Any news on the college front?

By the end of states I will know where I am going. I have taken visits to Florida, UNF, and Kentucky. I am just looking for a college that fits me and that I fit in with.

What will you remember the most about running cross country?

I think I will remember how positive the running environment was and all of the relationships I have made through just this sport.

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