Senior Salute: Carrollton's Alivia Bentley

Alivia Bentley is a 2019 graduate of Carrollton, who will be competing in throwing events for Ohio State University

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1) What were some of the highlights of your high school track and field career?  

Highlights from my high school career consist of winning a D1 state title for shot put, competing at nationals, and having the amazing opportunity to compete at the Midwest Meet of Champions this year.

For me however, my biggest highlight / memory is the time I had with my teammates and friends. Track has opened my heart to so many amazing people who share the same interest as me, and for me the friendships that I have gained through track are greater than any state championship title. Track isn't all about winning, it's also about the experiences.  

2) Did you encounter any struggles or adversity along the way that you had to overcome?  

Throughout high school I have had to face many obstacles ranging from injuries to trying to balance my life between school, family, and sports. I think the hardest thing for me was trying to balance everything. I have played multiple sports, some at the same time. This has made my schedule hectic, but I think the hardest challenge any student athlete has is trying to maintain grades and keep their spot on varsity.  

Because of this I have missed out on a lot of family events. However, this was a sacrifice I had to make. My family understood this and supported me every step of the way. Another challenge that I faced was trying to find somewhere to practice. In the small town of Carrollton, we were finally getting a new school. With the construction, we lost our throws area. My entire junior year I didn't have anywhere to throw. I still found a way to practice, however. My coach would have us do drills on the track, and then, if we were lucky, we would throw on the field with no ring.  

Into my senior year, our new ring was finally built. Some days we were not able to use it due to the mud, as it was a sink-hole half of the time. Over the last two years I have done a lot of traveling in order to get my throws in.  

Alivia Bentley didn't let any obstacles stand in her way of winning a state championship.  

3) Aside from the competition, what was the best thing about being apart of Carrollton's program?  

One of my favorite things about my school track program was the support. My school is in a very rural part of Ohio, so we don't get the opportunity to represent our school at the state level very often. Just within the past fours years, the track program has brought home three state championship titles: Maddison Dunlap in the 1600m, Cole Lovett in the 1600m, and myself in the shot put.

The women's side has brought home many district championship, regional championships, and we were also the 2017 state runner-ups. With this success we have seen a huge support system from the community. I honestly feel like this type of support can only come from small towns like Carrrollton. As being one of the student athletes, this is one of my favorite things about Carrollton.  

4) Are there any coaches or teammates that you've worked with over the past four years that you'd like to thank?  

There are so many people that I would like to thank. I want to start off with the obvious one - my throws coach. Greg Shadle has been a huge inspiration to me. He has helped in many more ways than he will ever know. He has made so many sacrifices to coach me these past four years, including missing some of his own grandchildren's sporting events. However, his sacrifice is what makes him a great coach.

I would also like to thank the rest of my coaching staff for never giving up hope on the throwers. Further thanks are extended to our athletic directors, Jason Eddy and Mark Spears, for allowing me to use the gym for practice, and for the new equipment. I want to thank my family for the continuous support and for allowing me to compete in track and field. Last but not least, I would also like to thank my teammates over the past four years and the entire Carrollton community. 

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 plan on attending The Ohio State University to continue my throwing and academic careers.  

6) What advice would you give to a younger athlete who's hoping to have a successful and enjoyable high school career?    

Some advice that I would like to give to other athletes is that you don't have to win to be successful. Keep your head up and your heart open, and don't be afraid to talk to your fellow competitors. Some of my closest friends I met through throwing. Track has allowed me to open my social network and meet some amazing people. This advice doesn't just apply to track, it applies to life. 

Alivia Bentley spoke with MileSplit following her shot put win at the Division 1 Region 3 meet -