Skating Along - An Interview

(Photo provided by Aleece Durbin)

Track & Field Personal Bests:

60 meter run:  8.35

100 meter run:  12.97

100 hurdles:  15.71

200 meter run:  27.32

300 hurdles:  46.12

 Long Jump:  16-6

 Triple Jump:  32-07.75

Who is your hurdles coach?

My hurdling coach is Harley Stahlecker, who has retired and volunteers his time as a coach.  He has played a huge role in my running career.  He is always brutally honest about my performance at meets.  I believe that his honesty has helped me to become a better runner because he sees potential that I may sometimes be blind to.  He pushes me at every practice to help reveal to myself what I am capable of.

Who else has been instrumental to your improvement?

My parents are an essential part of my growth as an athlete.  They are at every meet cheering me on and are always excited for my accomplishments.  Another person who is vital to my growth as a runner is my teammate Katelyn Wagner.  We run the same events and get to practice together everyday.  She has spent many hours at the track with me and has helped to keep me motivated.

You are an accomplished figure skater.  How has that helped you in track & field?

Being a Figure Skater has definitely helped me to become more coordinated.  I have a pretty good sense of awareness as to what my feet are doing, which of course comes from the fact that when I'm not running I have blades on my feet.  Figure Skating has also helped me to develop a sense of rhythm which is great for hurdling because it's a race that requires a steady rhythm throughout the race.

With your ability to play multiple sports and events has it ever occurred to you try a multi-event?

I have never thought about becoming a Heptathlete, but it would be fun to try.  The hardest part for me would be learning how to high jump.  I have attempted high jump a few times and have developed a small fear of landing on the pole.

(Photo provided by Aleece Durbin)

What is your best event and what qualities do you have that makes it a good fit for you?

I seem to have my most success when running an event with hurdles.  I think my success in the hurdles comes from having such a great coach and great teammates that I am able to work with everyday.  Hurdling take a lot of patience and dedication to run, and I am grateful to have a coach and teammates that help to keep me inspired to never give up on a hard day.

What do you like most about track & field?

My favorite things about being in track is getting to spend practices and meets with my friends, and of course getting into great shape for summer.

Which events do you like the best?

It's hard to pick between relays or individual events because they both have different positive aspects to them.  I love running in relays because I like the feeling that we are all relying on each other and are pushing ourselves for one another. I also like individual events because it gives me a chance to look at my own times and keep working hard to improve them.

In addition to your athletic achievements what other things have you done?

I participate in band and have received a superior rating two years in a row at solo contest along with the "Best in Site" award this year while playing my saxophone.  As for academics I have been a part of the "A" Honor Role for the past 3 years and have been inducted into the National Honor Society.  I participate in Student Council at school.

(Photo provided by Aleece Durbin)
Do you have a job?

I have worked for the Crookston Park & Rec programs coaching Danceline and Figure Skating for the past 2 years.

Where do you plan to go to college?

I don't have a specific school picked out just yet, but I am hoping to stay in the Minnesota and North Dakota area.  My goals are to attend a school, continue my running career, and pursue a degree in Physical Therapy.

Does your team do anything special to bond?

Something unique that our team has done is that we have started a twitter account to tweet about the memorable things that have happened to our team.  It has reports of everything from motivational quotes that someone on the team said to updates or what we did at practice.  It has become a fun activity to bring our team together.

How are regular season meets and the state meet different?

I definitely can feel the difference between regular season meets and the state meet.  I feel very relaxed during regular season meets, our coaches refer to the early meets as just another practice to get a time on us.  The state meet, on the other hand, made me very nervous because I had never run at such a large meet with such amazing athletes.

Does the crowd help or hinder your performance?

I really enjoyed the atmosphere at the state meet.  Even though I was very nervous it was super exciting to run in front of such a huge crowd.  I think that the large crowd and all the cheering helped my performance.  It helped to fuel all the adrenaline I had.


(Photo provided by Aleece Durbin)

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