Salute To Seniors: Taylor Russell - Bishop Moore

What was your most memorable race/meet?
My most memorable race was one that we ran in Clermont. The course was like a giant, man-made ditch and it consisted of us constantly running up and down the sides. It was very challenging for us Florida girls who are used to flat grounds. There were also a lot of loose rocks on the downhills, which made everyone hesitant and scared to run down.
Who would you consider your biggest competition?
My biggest competition has always been myself, because the most rewarding feeling is beating your own PR.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?
My biggest accomplishments have been getting voted captain two years in a row. It is great to lead your team and know that you are the one they wanted to lead them.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
I would focus more on the speed workouts. Distance runs are no problem for me, but if I had tried harder on the speed workouts, I think that I could have been a bit faster.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
Getting diagnosed with Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD) my junior year was difficult because it is a condition in which your vocal cords close off during intense workouts or in stressful situations. It made running very challenging because I couldn't breathe most of the time. Over the years, I have learned breathing techniques and meditations to reduce the episodes.
What will you miss the most?
I will definitely miss the team the most. I'm so lucky that each year I was blessed with a group of girls who love running as much as me, and love each other as well. We supported each other in everything we did. We are friends on and off the course. Our inside jokes are what I will remember for a lifetime.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes? 
Make sure you love what you are doing. Don't do something because you feel pressure to do it, do it because it makes you happy.
What are your college plans?
I will be attending the University of Florida in the fall and I will continue running on my own, or hopefully with a running club.
Who would you like to say thank you to?
Thank you to my parents for supporting me in all the years that I have been running. Thank you to my coaches for teaching me all that I know about running. And thank you to my teammates-turned-friends who ran with me, laughed with me, and supported each other.

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