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1) What were some of the highlights of your high school track career?
The highlight of my high school career was definitely making it to the state meet as a sophomore. No feeling compares to competing at Jesse Owens Stadium for the first time and it's definitely something I'll never forget. Going undefeated through my 110H races both junior and senior years was definitely something else I'm proud of.
2) Did you encounter any struggles or adversity along the way that you had to overcome?
Having broken both of my collarbones, ultimately ending my season early two years in a row was a nightmare. Going through that twice took away my opportunity at a state championship title and it was absolutely devastating. The second time it happened I didn't know how to react, and I was in absolute shock. But the support I received from my team, coaches, and the Strongsville community got me through it and in the long run, and it made me a stronger person.
3) Aside from the competition, what was the best thing about being apart of Strongsville's program?
The support. Not just from the school itself, but from the community. The sport of track and field is often under-appreciated and underestimated in its importance, but the support I felt while competing for Strongsville was overwhelmingly amazing. It made me proud to put on my jersey every week.
4) Are there any coaches or teammates that you've worked with over the past four years that you'd like to thank?
I could take the time to thank a million people because like I said, the support I received was amazing. But most importantly, I'd like to thank Coach Koval and Coach Schnear. Coach Koval is one of the greatest people I've had the pleasure of meeting and a thousand thank yous to him could not suffice. He has believed in me every step of the way and through everything I've been through, he was there with me. Without a doubt, I am a better person because of his leadership and my time spent with him. Coach Schnear is never without a smile. He never fails to cheer us up and if only we knew how much of a blessing he would be to our team. So to those two: thank you for everything you've done for me, it truly means the world.
And a special shout-out to all the team's coaches: Coach Giesken, Coach Thall, Coach Cobb, Coach Syroney, Coach Ruese, and Coach Martin. And of course, to the best teammates anyone could ask for: Riley Anderson, Joe Gillette, Taylor Griffin, Andrew Aske, Emilia Lesniak, Jack Mott and Jack Malczewski. Thanks to all of you, you've made my high school career the best it could have possibly been.
5) What are your plans and goals for the future? Do you intend on continuing with the sport in college or in another capacity?
I'll be attending Columbia University next year, studying Operations Research, and competing for their track team! I'm really excited to receive the kind of education a school like Columbia will provide, while also having the opportunity to continue with the sport I love so much.
6) What advice would you give to a younger athlete who's hoping to have a successful and enjoyable high school career?
Enjoy all the little moments. Don't take any practice, meet, or bus ride for granted, because it goes by so fast. Treasure the time spent with your coaches and teammates. Practice like you want to perform and perform like you're on the biggest stage in the world. Listen to your coaches because they know and want what is best for you. And finally, don't break your collarbones. It hurts -- a lot!