Senior Swan Song: Riley Negrey

Name: Riley Negrey

School: Centaurus

                            What was your most memorable race/throw/jump/vault/moment?

                            My most memorable race was definitely one of my 4x100m races last season. I remember it was at Longmont, but I don't remember which meet in particular it was. I was the last leg of the relay, and we didn't get the best start, but I was feeling fast that day. I got the handoff and just took off, passing every girl in front of me. The cheering is what I can remember the most. It kept growing as I passed the rest of the girls. Easily my most thought of and memorable track moment in my career.

                              Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

                              Freshman year and sophomore year, I can't say I had a person to regularly compete against, I was still just developing.

                              After I joined REAL training between sophomore year and junior year though, I would say that, even though she'd always dust me, Elise Gillett was one of my biggest competitors. She has such an amazing work ethic, and is so positive, it just makes me want to work harder; Elise will go on to do great things as a Buff.

                              Outside of that, I'd say that Tara Hitchcock was someone I was always chasing in long jump my junior season, she was always just ahead of me, and gave me great competition.

                                What was your greatest accomplishment?

                                Placing 4th in long jump at state as a sophomore. I truly didn't expect to do that well going into it, but when I got there, all I could think was, "why not me?" I'm more amazed that I managed to do so well after playing club basketball during my entire track season as well. I had even played in a tournament before state. I'm really just proud of myself for having the confidence to be on that stage, and perform to the best of my abilities.

                                  If you could do it all over again what would you change about your career in high school?

                                  I would take it more seriously from the start. I really would like to see where I could be at now if I didn't start more dedicated training after my sophomore season. It would also be nice to see what would've happened my junior year if I wasn't playing basketball during my season.

                                  I feel it would have made my state performances just a bit better. Other than that I'm happy with how my track career has gone. It would be nice to see what I could do this year, but I'm very grateful for what I have gotten to experience over the rest of my career.

                                    What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

                                    Definitely my self doubt/low self confidence. A lot of the time early in high school I'd catch myself thinking "I can't do it" or "I'm not good enough." It made workouts tough to get through, and made bad meets even worse. I just held myself to too high of a standard.

                                    I was more worried about being perfect rather than making mistakes, and learning from them. I would've rather continued to workout than go to a meet because I just never felt ready. Gradually, though, I have worked to get over those feelings, and just put trust in myself, and try to have fun with everything I do, ready or not.

                                      What will you miss the most?

                                      My teammates for sure. Training with them, the bus rides to and from meets, cheering one another on. Nothing can beat the fun I have had over the past three years.

                                        What advice would you give to younger athletes?

                                        Enjoy what you have in the current moment, don't take anything you do for granted. Once it's all over, even if you go on to run in college, you will still miss your high school experiences. So even though your eight 400s, or 200s, or mile repeats may feel awful, just know you won't get the opportunity to do that forever, and learn to embrace it while you can.

                                        Also, please believe in yourself. It doesn't matter if you're the star on your team or just a beginner, always trust that you can or will be able to do / accomplish something. Look to those around you for help, and don't be afraid to ask. Never let pride or fear get in the way of your goals.

                                          What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?

                                          Every coach I have had has wanted nothing but to see me get better as an athlete and as a person. Over the years I've grown more confident, more positive, and I've begun to educate myself more and more on the ways to grow myself as an athlete.

                                          All of my coaches just wanted me to be as good as I could be in every facet, and they wanted to provide me with the tools to do so. They've all done an incredible job, and they are all amazing people doing great things day in and day out.

                                            What are your college plans?

                                            I will be attending Metropolitan State University Denver, my major is still undecided.

                                              Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?

                                              I would like to extend a huge thanks to my coaches at REAL training - Coach Mo, Coach Wally, Coach Lamar, Coach Deja, and countless others - for pushing me farther than I had ever thought was possible, and for putting in all the time and effort that you do to make everyone a better athlete and individual.

                                              I want to thank my parents for making all of my running possible, and putting up with me on my best and worst day.

                                              Thank you to the countless young men and women I have trained with and competed against, fueling my competitiveness, and each teaching me something new.

                                              I would also like to quickly thank my club basketball coaches - Amt and Michael Bahl - and everyone else at B&B - for all of their time and the lessons that they taught as well. Many mental lessons I've learned from them have helped me so much on and off the track.

                                              Finally I'd like to thank my Centaurus coaches - Coach Fassler, Coach Kholer, Coach Taylor, Coach Goodman, and Coach Lynch. I can't thank you enough for giving me an entry into a sport I absolutely love, and showing me just how much fun and exciting the world of track can be. Thank you for the hours you spent planning workouts, getting busses, cheering us on, and picking who'd have to run the 4x400 (even though we all know that was a split second decision). Is there

                                                Anything else you'd like to add?

                                                Thank you MileSplit for giving us seniors a final opportunity to reflect on our careers and this sport. These past few weeks haven't been easy on anyone, but work in the state community like this helps spread much needed positivity.