Name: Ellie Schweiker
School: Ralston Valley High School
Q) What was your most memorable race/throw/jump/vault/moment?
My most memorable race was Liberty Bell this fall in cross country. To win a race... Not something I had done many times before was a huge step in my mental attitude towards racing. I realized I can run a crazy PR, I can beat someone in a sprint to the finish, and I can win! On top of that our whole team had fantastic races with big PRs and I've never felt so much love and joy from all of us.
Q) Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
Thinking back to my freshman and sophomore year I remember all of the Arvada west girls - Claire Pauley and Katie Doucette in particular- who pushed me to keep up with them. I also remember telling myself I wanted to be as friendly, sweet, and encouraging to everyone I raced against just like they were to me.
Q) What was your greatest accomplishment?
Probably finishing fifth at state track last year in the 3200. Big PR with lots of smiles and it jump started my college recruiting process.
Q) If you could do it all over again what would you change about your career in high school?
I would have raced more... A lot more... Says me as I sit on the couch thinking about the track meet that was supposed to be today.
Q) What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
I have always struggled with the reason as to why I run. I developed really negative feelings toward cross country races that brought a lot of self doubt and frustration. To overcome this self doubt and find a better attitude my senior year was by far the most difficult-and also most rewarding-challenge.
Q) What will you miss the most?
I will miss the feeling of finishing your race and looking at your watch knowing that the boys varsity race's gun goes off in T-minus 2 minutes so you've got to pick yourself off the ground to go get on the course to cheer them on. I love to yell and cheer and jump and scream to support my teammates. Also our RVXC meme page... Lots of fun there.
Q) What advice would you give to younger athletes?
Don't overdue the mileage and overwork yourself. Injury prevention is equally as important as training in the world of track and cross country. Listen to your body and believe that the times will come with training smarter not harder.
Q) What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
I've had many coaches through high school and club running and I feel that the common thread between their philosophies was emphasizing fun. Each different style of training has worked for me and shown me that being a talented runner is more about believing in yourself and pouring your heart, soul, and grit into races than perfect training regimes.
Q) What are your college plans?
I'm going to Rice University to run track and cross country and study electrical engineering.
Q) Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?
My brother takes the cake. These past few weeks have been tough to maintain my training without a team but everyday he runs with me and pushes me to continue becoming stronger and faster. He is just realizing the allure of distance running and he's the best training partner that anyone can ask for.
Q) Is there anything else you'd like to add.
Running is a lot more fun if you can find something to smile about.