Salute To Seniors: Anaya Bailey

(Anaya seals the deal for the Lady Wolves in her final HS 4x400.-photo by John Hays)

Name: Anaya Bailey

School: Chandler HS

Anaya Bailey was ranked #1 in Arizona for both 100 and 200 meters during the regular season with times of 11.90 and 24.07, respectively. She also ran 55.52 for 400 meters and played a vital role for both the 4x100 and 4x400 squads. As an upperclassman she matured into an athlete who puts the team first and gives her best to aid the Wolves' in pursuit of State Championship Titles. She has signed with the U of A Wildcats.

Q: What was your most memorable race?

I think my most memorable race was my freshman year at State Championships. Our first leg had us in 7th place and not going to lie, it was kind of scary seeing that. 2nd leg brought us back into it and put us in 5th place. We had to win the 4x4 to win the meet so I knew I had to do something quick. I was third leg and got us to 1st with a 50-meter lead passing competitors that were far ahead of me. Without that major move I did, we would've lost the State Championships and our Chandler High School winning streak.

Q: Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years? Who did you enjoy competing against?

My biggest competition throughout my 4 years was Nastasia Peevy my sophomore year and Jadyn Mays my senior year. I enjoyed competing against Jadyn my senior year because I didn't have much competition, and when she came to high school she pushed me to run faster times.

Q: What was your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment was becoming the 2nd most decorated high school athlete at Chandler High. That was a huge achievement to have because so many great athletes came through the school and went to D1 universities and went pro.

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

If I could do it all over again, I would change my mentality towards practice and track earlier than later. I didn't turn it on until junior year and that's when I started dominating, but it was only because I changed my mental state and gained so much confidence also. Track is so mental. Without it, an athlete will never move forward.

Q: What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

A: The most difficult obstacles I had to overcome was being mentally stronger and believing in myself. Also, overcoming being sick and being in and out of hospitals. My immune system was horrible! I got through it and prevailed.

Q: What will you miss the most about competing for Chandler High School?

A: Competing for Chandler High was such a fun experience. The school as a whole has so many successful programs.  I think what I will miss the most is the thrill I gave to many people when I ran and competed in front of so many kids that look up to me and aspire to have the opportunity I was given.

Q: What advice would you give to younger athletes who will compete for Chandler?

A: My #1 major advice to give to younger athletes who will compete for Chandler is ALWAYS stay hungry and determined. I know practices seem rough and sometimes wonder "Is track really life?!", but in the end it pays off and you become so much stronger and see positive results.

Q: What influence has Coach Richardson had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?

A: Coach E has had such a big influence on my performance and life goals. Ever since I was a little girl, he put me in the weight room with the older kids and only wanted the best for me. He pushed me more than any athlete not because we are family, but because he knew I could do it. For that, I will be forever blessed and thankful.

Q: You've signed with U of A. What attracted you to the Wildcat program and which Coach will you work most often? What do you like about him/her?

A: Yes, I did sign with UofA. I think what attracted me the most was the team and how we bonded on my visit. Also the coaches and how they want to see me go pro and be so successful as an athlete and a person. I will most likely be working with Coach Green and I'm so excited! I love her as a person because she wants it as much as I do and I feel she can get me to the next level. She is so sweet and just an awesome person all around.

Q: Who do you have to thank for your success?

A: I would like to say thank you to my family, especially my Mother and my Grandmother. They have been there through the good and the bad. Also my Coach aka Grandfather. I don't know where I would be without him. But also the many younger kids who look up to me, and my teammates who pushed me through practice to become a better athlete. Most importantly, God because without him and the gift he gave me, I wouldn't be the Anaya Bailey!