Name: Ashley Dibonas
School: Stargate High School
Q) What was your most memorable race/throw/jump/vault/moment?
My very first cross country race ever. I remember being scared since I hadn't run before. I will never forget crossing the finish line. As I ran the lap around the track to reach the finish line, I remember seeing both of my parents cheering and crying tears of joy as I crossed the finish line.
Q) Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
My biggest competition was always my older sister. While eventually we ended up competing in different events (her sprinting and me distance), she always pushed me to become better than I thought I could be. She taught me that at the end of the day, it came down to the race, you, and your time. What mattered was if you beat your last time, not if you beat the other girls. So, we always raced our best to see who would end up with a more significant PR.
Q) What was your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment was qualifying for state two times. The second time was as a team and that was amazing. But the first time, I managed to qualify as an individual and that was so exciting for me and I am very proud of that moment.
Q) If you could do it all over again what would you change about your career in high school?
I would be more invested in my training. Towards the end of the year I began to focus more on fun times and making memories. While this is just as important, if not more, than training, there needs to eb a balance. If I could go back, I would dedicate myself more to my training and becoming a better runner so that I could've continued running in college on scholarship like my sister (after all, she is my biggest competition!)
Q) What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
Some of the most difficult obstacles I had to overcome were both physical and mental. Sophomore year, I was struggling with an injury and by the end of track season, I had stress fractured my femur. I had to relearn how to run which took months.The physical injury wasn't the worst part.
What was more difficult than being on crutches was trying to keep a positive attitude. I had just run state and finished track season, here I was, unable to walk let alone run so you can imagine the disappointment and frustration that I felt. But, with the help of my family and support of my team, I managed to get back up and running again...literally!
Q) What will you miss the most?
The goofy times with my team. Yes I'll miss competing but, the times where my teammates and I played just dance for hours or took a new route to go exploring or went for a run in a blizzard; I will miss those adventures more than anything else.
Q) What advice would you give to younger athletes?
Take the time to have fun. While training and becoming a better athlete is important, ALWAYS remember to stop every once in a while and let yourself have fun. Because I can guarantee you, ten years down the road, you won't remember one long run you went on on a Tuesday, but you will remember the times your team danced in the rain or had a team dinner. Take the time to have fun and make memories because life is always moving forward and as sad as it is, moments don't last forever but memories do. Make those memories while you can.
Q) What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
My coaches over the years have helped me grow so much both as a runner and as a person. My very first coach taught me a lesson of "Do it for the harvest." Put in the hard work, go with the struggle because at the end of the day, you're doing it for the end result. You're working hard and pushing yourself to see results. I've used this lesson not only in athletics but in life too. I struggle, and make mistakes, and learn because I'm doing it for the harvest - I'm doing it for the end goal. All the hard work will pay off.
Q) What are your college plans?
I plan to go to Colorado State University Pueblo (Go Thunderwolves!) to major in Nursing. As of now I don't plan on running on the team in college but who knows, sometimes plans change!
Q) Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?
I'd like to say thank you to my present coach Von Miller for encouraging me to join the team this year and for helping me become a better runner. I would also like to thank my first coach Forrest Vaughan. He convinced me to start running and always pushed me to be the best that I could be. Thank you for helping me start my favorite adventure yet!
Q) Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I am so incredibly proud and thankful for my teammates! They are all so supportive and goofy and they are all going amazing places! I wish each and every one of them the best of luck in their future seasons! Thank you!