Liberty Ricca, State Champion.
The Discovery Canyon (incoming) senior was off nearly everyone's radar this past March. Her 2017 highlights included a 17th-place finish at the cross country state championships, a 12th-place finish in the 3,200, and an eighth place finish in the 1,600 in 2017.
By May she was the 3,200 state champion, and she finished third in the 1,600. Her insane leap during the outdoor season elevated her into the spotlight, and now, with the 2018 cross country days away, she's one of the favorites to take the 4A state title.
She didn't exactly come out of nowhere, however. Until recently her talents were more on display in the world of triathlons - Ricca has been part of USA Triathlon's Junior National Team the last two seasons. Though clearly she's clearly found her stride, off the bike, and out of the water.
Ricca holds PRs one-sport athletes would dream of. She's run 5:07 in the 1,600, 10:56 in the 3,200, and 17:57 in the 5k.
While we wait in anticipation for the 2018 season to get underway, Ricca took the liberty of sharing her tips for this week's edition of Tips From The Top.
Liberty Ricca's Tips From The Top:
1. Stay Loose. I am not just talking physically. For me, being mentally relaxed/loose is a key part to having a good race. I need to be talking and joking with people, just having a good time before the race. It helps me forget the nerves so I can run the best race I can. Music helps too. At State track, The Black Eyed Peas, "Let's Get it Started" was blasting, and it really helped me relax.
2. Don't Compare Yourself to Others. Now don't get me wrong, it's good to race others and use them as motivation but you are racing your own race. Don't compare your performances to others because every athlete is different in ability and development. We all are fighting through something.
3. Do What You Love! It's key to love what you are doing. Without passion, you get burned out and it gets harder and harder to perform at a high level. If you need a break, take it and refocus.