All Ryled Up - Interview with Ryley Nelson

(Photo Provided by Ryley Nelson)

First of all, how did you first get involved with running?

I first got started running in 6th Grade. I traveled with the cross country team to a meet that had an elementary race and did pretty well. Then in 7th grade, since I hated football, I decided to join the cross country team. I had always been one of the fastest in the class when we ran the mile in gym so I thought, "Why not?"

What are all your personal records?


5k - 16:00

Track (Subject to change)

800m - 2:10

1600m - 4:34

3200 - 9:53

Do you do, or have you done, any other sports?

I played baseball in 7th grade as well as basketball up until I was a sophomore. Now I run year round. 

What is your favorite or most memorable competition you've ever been in?

My most memorable race I have ever been in was this year's 2016 Minnesota State Cross Country Meet. It was my senior year and going into the race I had run the fastest section meet time in Class A. I led 2/3rds of the race and ended up 6th. I was hoping for a better finish but the experience of leading the race outweighed the final result. 

Other than your own teammates, who are some of your favorite athletes to compete against?

I definitely like racing against the guys from Perham and Mora. Not only were they the 2 fastest Class A teams in the state this year, they are just all around nice guys. I also like racing Ethan Olson from Moose Lake, and Matt Steiger and Zach Emery from La Crescent. We all compete hard against each other, but right after the race we are all friends and end up chatting. 

(Photo Provided by Ryley Nelson)

Who are some people that have been most helpful to you in your athletic career?

My coaches have helped me out tremendously. They are always so positive and give me goals to strive for.  Some others are my parents. They have always been there for me and support me every day through my endeavors. 

What are your main goals for this upcoming track season?

My goals for my final season in track are:

800m - Sub 2:06

1600m - 4:20

3200m - 9:20

How are you feeling about where you are at performance and training-wise this season?

Training has been going very well but due to the weather and meet cancellations I have only raced twice this season. Although this is a mental set-back I feel like the work I put in this winter will help me improve later in the season when the important meets take place.

As a senior, how have your perspectives, strategies, or attitudes changed since you first started running, what advice would you give to younger track athletes?

I've definitely become more dedicated through my years of running. I would tell kids that even if you don't find success right away, if you keep grinding and working hard it will pay off. I say this from actual experience . I didn't find large success in running until my junior year. You just have to have the right mentality and everything will work out.