Salute To Seniors: Susan Rifai - Montverde

What was your most memorable race?
My most memorable race was the 4 x 800 meter relay at the Regional Championships. There was a slim chance of making it to the State meet. Coming out of the slow heat, in a race against the clock, we all had to run our PR to beat the 4th place team in the fast heat. I told myself this would be my last meet of high school and I had to give it my all. As they ran the fast heat after us, we were all on the edge, holding each other as we watched the 4th place team finish. Unbelievably, we finished two seconds ahead of the 4th place team in the fast heat and made it to the State Finals.
Who would you consider your biggest competition?
My biggest competition is my little sister, Maya. We push each other to the limit, in both in races and practices, each and every single day.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments which stands out the most?
The high school accomplishment which stands out the most is being selected as Female Scholar Athlete of the Year.

If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
I wish had started running earlier and more consistently. I started running my sophomore year, but I never ran consistently until my junior year.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
One of the most difficult obstacles I had to overcome was being iron deficient and not knowing it.  Although I kept pushing through it all through track season, it became frustrating because instead of getting faster, I was getting slower and slower.  At that point I knew something was wrong. I found out I had severe iron deficiency. It was really difficult to deal with as a runner, but after a few months of taking iron I was back to normal.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss running with my team the most. We grew very close as a team and we all would push each other in practices and races.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes? 
Don’t ever give up! Everyone has a bad day, a bad week, a bad month or even a bad year. It is pushing through those bad days and working hard through them that make you a stronger person and stronger athlete.

What are your college plans? 
This fall I will attend the University of Florida and study Chemistry. I will continue to run on my own or find a running club to run with.
Who would you like to say thank you to?
I would like to thank Mr. Urquhart, my running coach, and all the parents for supporting the team and being there to cheer us on at every meet. I also want to thank the girls on my team for being competitive (especially my little sister Maya) and pushing me to run my hardest every day.