Life As A Redbird With Ava Perez Erickson

Ava Perez Erickson of Minnehaha Academy Class of 2018

Personal Records:

400m - 1:00.2 (split)

800m - 2:21.38 (split)

1600m - 5:28.29

3200m - 12:06.00

5K (xc) - 19:49.10

XC State 2017 - 102nd place

XC State 2016 - 96th place

XC State 2015 - 106th place

Where were you born? and what is your current height and weight?

I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota but I my family is from Toledo, Spain.

What sports did you grow up playing?

I grew up playing traveling soccer, starting in 3rd grade and playing until 10th grade, my father being my biggest soccer advocate as he was a semi-professional soccer player in Spain. I also grew up swimming and my mother was my biggest advocate in this sport, as she was a DI swimmer for the U of M.

What sports do you play in high school and how many letters do you have?

I played basketball at the high school level, starting in 8th grade and going to 10th grade, lettering in 10th grade. I started running in kindergarten after my gym teacher said that I could beat all the boys-of which is still an incentive of mine-in my class if I ran my fastest.

I officially started high school track, after years of waiting, in 8th grade and have/will lettered 5 years. I started cross country 10th grade, after an unfulfilling high school soccer season and constant pleading from my track coaches, and have lettered 3 years. I run because its my own sport, not my fathers or my mothers.  I did letter one season in soccer.  So to this point I have 9 letters total in all sports.

How did the Section 4A race go for you this year? 

Every race I have run this year has been better than the last. My conference and section races were the best races I had run this year, the prior being the faster of the two.

I started out really well in this year's section race, but I started to fade during the second mile. With about a mile left I felt one of my teammates coming up on me and I knew I needed to go if I still wanted to finish second for our team. This really allowed me to kick around the 600m mark, in fact I had the biggest kick of the entire season and I caught a lot of people.  This has been our second year winning the section title and we have promising young girls behind us to keep the winning going.

According to our database you have won five 800 meter races in high school so far.  Is this your favorite race? Why or why not? What is usually your race strategy?

The 800 is my favorite open track race. It is such a fast race, but when you run it, it feels like you're running so fast that the world around you is moving in slow motion. My usual race strategy is to go out with the leaders in the first lap, but draft behind some people. Then, on the second lap I start to kick on the last two hundred and pass the people who I was drafting off of. My best times for the 800m however have been when I have just led the entire race, not being worried if I would have enough left in the tank, and kicked at the beginning of the second lap trying to drop everyone I possibly could.

Give us a description of your training over the years. Have you changed what you have done from year to year?

Our training has been pretty consistent over the past three years, Mondays usually being long runs; Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays being hard workouts; and Wednesdays and Fridays being recovery days. This year we put in less mileage than last year because last year we trained too much and peaked too early. However, we soon noticed that we weren't training enough half way into the season so we upped our long workouts to be distances of 6 or 7k for intervals/reps. We even had a 6k workout before Conference. We knew this year that we were going to make it to state, so we didn't really taper for conference and sections. We only did a cut down in preparation for the state meet.