The Western Wayne junior set a school record winning the 100 hurdles, and also won gold in the 300 hurdles and 1,600 relay, and silver in the pole vault at the Robert Spagna Championships.
Other sports you play: Volleyball and indoor track
Athletes you admire: Olympic pole vaulter Sandy Morris. I was inspired by her work ethic, especially when she had to come back from an injury.
Any sports teams you follow? Not specifically, but I do love watching sports.
Superstitions or rituals on meet day? Funny, I used to have a thing where I’d put my hair in a braid, but over the years I’ve said to myself that the best thing to do is not have superstitions. If something comes up in a meet where I don’t have my special socks or my hair isn’t a certain way, I have to be able to roll with the situation.
Three people you’d like to have dinner with. Jesus, my great grandfather, and just my friends.
Most famous athlete you’ve ever met? I’ve met a few past Olympians. Andre Phillips, Leroy Solomon and Dwight Stones. And I’ve also met Jenn Suhr.
You being Athlete of the Week and your brother having a feature story in the paper today, it must have been a pretty special Mother’s Day in your house. It definitely was. My coaches, my fellow teammates and obviously my family are very excited because it’s my brother’s first big debut in the newspaper and it’s very exciting for him, and very exciting for me as well.
What does moving the meet back from today to Wednesday do to your preparation or training? I am so thankful just because we had prom on Saturday and I feel like this past week I was really busy with a lot of things. I needed a couple days to mentally prepare and get some good rest and hydrate. It’s a very good thing.
You are seeded first in four events. Have you thought about four gold medals at districts or do you try to keep that “noise” out of your head? I’m not really caught up in the medals part of it. I need me to go out and do what I need to do and not focusing on the medal.
Your brother is having quite the season in his own right. Has your brother been an inspiration to you, vice versa, or do you feed off each other’s successes? We’re only 14 months apart but it feels like we’re twins. We have this mental telepathy. Just being part of the team with him has been awesome. I think it’s a combination of both of us feeding off each other.
Having won bronze in the 100 hurdles and silver in the 300 last year in districts as a sophomore, imagining you have higher goals this week. It’s going to present some pretty interesting decisions as long as things go well at districts. I’ll have the opportunity to participate in four events at states. That’s a lot. Usually I would take 100 hurdles out, but considering my seed is number one in the state right now, that’s kind of a harder decision. We’ll see when the time comes and we’ll be able to make a better decision.
What’s the one food that’s not in your diet during track season that you really miss? I don’t think I completely cut anything out because I think anything in portion size is okay. That’s not going to affect your performance. I just try to keep everything in balance. If I want a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, my favorite, I have one. Hydration is very important. And I haven’t taken a sip of soda all season. Don’t drink it. Don’t miss it.
How did you get interested in track and field? It started with cross country in fifth grade I ran a 6:52 mile and the middle school cross country coach reached out to me. I’d done dance, Girl Scouts, all the arts and those types of things, for about eight years. It was a big commitment going into a real sport and I ended up doing really well.
What made you want to try the pole vault? That was the seventh grade when coach (Robert) Amos came to the school from New Jersey and we had a lot of people trying out and we had an indoor pit. Originally I didn’t get too excited about it. Once I started having some success, ‘Oh, I cleared this, that’s cool. He’s telling me I’m good, that’s cool. I’m going to stick with this.’ The love for that event just kind of blossomed after seeing the heights come and experience that adrenalin.
Who is the one person who has had the biggest influence on your athletic career and what have they done? Probably coach (Justin) Collins. Over the years, I’ve appreciated his dedication and the way he plans out our whole entire track schedule, from weight training to every day at practice. And this goes for all the coaches as well. All their dedication, but specifically coach Collins. Without his intensity, I would not be where I am today. I need that push. You need to have some priorities if you want to have success in this sport and he helps me have that mindset to become better than what you are.
After high school, what is next? Just receiving a bunch of letters from colleges and it’s a little overwhelming. I don’t know exactly what I want to do with my career. I was thinking physical therapy. I love sports and I love getting people back up on their feet once they’re injured. I’m definitely thinking Division I, but if there are better offers at Division II, I’m okay with that.
Who’s one teammate guaranteed to make you laugh? Probably Dylan Walck. And Ezra Tetrault, too. We don’t talk very often but when we do, Dylan can say one word and I’ll be on the floor.