(Caroline handily won her season opener at King of the Mountain by over a minute.-photo by John Hays)
Name: Caroline McLeskey
Caroline is only a sophomore but has been in the mix of several of the most competitive meets in the Arizona. She holds PRs of 5:10.20 for 1600m and 11:15.61 for 3200m and placed 8th among D1 girls for both events at the track and field State Meet. She opened her season with a win at Red Mountain's King of the Mountain and then placed 2nd at Desert Solstice, behind Haley Wolf and Samantha Schadler. She placed 7th in the Sweepstakes race at Desert Twilight and is currently ranked 7th in Arizona going into the State Championships in just eight days.
(Below: McLeskey ran 11:34.42 to place 8th at the D1 State Champs in May.-photo by John Hays)
Where are you from and when did you begin competitive running?
I was born in Colorado but have grown up in Gilbert. I started running around my 7th grade year but nothing too competitive until high school.
What's your favorite workout?
800 repeats is one of my favorites, although Oregon drill on hills is definitely up there!
What's your favorite pre-race meal?
Before a race, I love to have blackberries, pretzels, and mango Naked Juice.
You've broken 18-minutes twice this season. What kind of confidence has this given you?
It has given me confidence that I can keep pushing myself and progressing.
How would you describe Coach Montgomery and what's the most valuable lesson you've learned from him?
Well our boys team would call him old (and that isn't wrong) but Coach also has a great perspective. He is always giving us handouts with not only great advice for running but life as well. His quotes on being mentally and emotionally balanced have helped me stay strong in races and other challenges in life. I'm so grateful that he is my coach and that he really helps our team come closer together.
Do you engage in any supplementary training (core, calisthenics etc.) and if so, how have you benefited from it?
Our Coach Michelle Rescendez usually has some pretty challenging core and isometric exercises for our team to do. Her workouts have helped me tremendously with form, speedwork, and preventing injuries.
(Right: The Highland girls placed 2nd at Doug Conley, last month.-photo by Harold Smith)
Have you set any goals for yourself or with your fellow Hawks?
Our team has focused a lot on pushing each other to our fullest potential as well as building each other up along the way. We have definitely put in the work and want to run for each other at state.
If you could go on a long run with any professional athlete, who would it be?
I would love to run with Mary Cain. She was one of my role models when I first started running.
Are you involved in any other Highland activities, and if so which ones?
I play the clarinet in band, and that combined with running takes up most of my time.
Will you run any post-season meets and if so which one(s)?
I have been considering running Nike Cross Southwest Regionals!