An Interview With Rittman's Pyper Gibson By Kailey Zagst

MileSplit Ohio student-athlete reporter Kailey Zagst took on her debut writing assignment for us, an interview with Rittman High School senior Pyper Gibson.

Pyper Gibson is a current senior from Rittman who has made her mark this season already. Since last cross country season, she has dropped her 5K PR by nearly 40 seconds, running an 18:07 at the Riverside Kickoff Classic Night Invitational at Painesville.

After a Top-10 state finish last year, Pyper is looking to continue that success this season and beyond.

Throughout this interview, Pyper shares some of what has gotten her to this point and the lessons she has learned within running.

-- Kailey Zagst

MileSplit: How did you find the sport of running?

Pyper: I started running in middle school. I realized I was good when I would win a race and not be that tired. So I started pushing myself and made a commitment to try and be the best I could.

MileSplit: What have you enjoyed the most about cross country and track?

Pyper: I've enjoyed the running buddies I've made along the years during xc and track. Each year I get a new group and we become close. I love my teammates more than anything, and that helps me push myself. It's easier to run through pain when you're doing it for someone you care about.

MileSplit: What are some of the things that have led you to the successes that you have been having?

Pyper: God has led me to the success I've been having. God gave me this amazing gift. I am using it to the best ability I can. I know I won't be able to run this fast forever so I'm getting the most out of it while I can.

MileSplit: What are some of your season goals along with long term goals in running?

Pyper: My season goal is to run 17 minutes. A scary goal is to get into the 15:00s... but anything is possible. My coach says "Your dreams should scare you, if they don't then they are not big enough"-Snyder. I remember when running low 18:00s sounded impossible. 

MileSplit: If you had to give a piece of advice to high school runners, what would that advice be?

Pyper: Advice I have for high school runners would be that you will fail. Especially in the beginning. You can't just become the best version of yourself overnight. You have to work harder than your competition.

Do extra abs, eat well, HYDRATE and sleep well. Little things make a difference. And you can't always win. The best athletes have failed many many times. But they are resilient and come back stronger ready to try again. One bad race is an opportunity to become better. You can only go up from there.