Name: Abi Archer
School: Chaparral HS
1600m - 4:56.07 @ Arizona Meet of Champions (2018)
3200m - 10:38.05 @ Nike Chandler Rotary Invitational
5km - 17:01.30 @ Nike Desert Twilight Festival
Since her sophomore year, Abi Archer has consistently dominated the longer distance races. In previous seasons she won four AIA Track and Field State Titles in the D2 Girls 1600m and 3200m races, as well as two D2 Girls' Cross-Country State Titles during her sophomore and junior. Last fall, after Chaparral was reclassified as a Division 1 school, Archer claimed a D1 Cross-Country State Title at Cave Creek Golf Course. She moved on to qualify for Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, OR and finished 10th earning All-American honors.
What was your most memorable race?
My most memorable race was Desert Twilight of Junior year. I was nervous the whole week before as I was aiming for a big PB. A quarter mile into the race, I got flat-tired and lost my shoe. It was a pretty underwhelming turn of events, and I ran the entire race with one flat on. My time was nowhere near where I had hoped and I was really disappointed. Now it's a great joke at practice and I am always reminded to run with both shoes on.
Did you listen to music before competing? If so what's on your playlist?
I have never been one to listen to music before racing. I am always too nervous about missing the start.
(Right: Archer and Schadler leading the peloton in the Girls Championship race at NXR Southwest. - photo by Josh Ornelas)
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
I think my biggest competition over my four years has been Sam Schadler. I really looked up to Sam during my Freshman and Sophomore year as I became a more competitive runner. She is an extremely encouraging and humble competitor who always inspires me to race my best.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
I would change my mindset during my Sophomore and Junior year. I think runners are often told that the there is a definitive line between how hard you work and whether or not you achieve it. I feel like I put too much pressure on myself to progress, which just ended up distracting me from actually getting faster. I think I have a more balanced mindset now, as I have learned to embrace the challenges of running and trust the process.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
I've had to overcome a couple of injuries in my career so far, which have happened at times when I felt fitter than ever before. It can be very frustrating to be set on achieving your goals, feeling like you're willing to put the work in, and yet not be able to actively train for it. I had to learn to be patient with the recovery process, and how to return to training and racing after an injury with confidence. Cross-training has played a huge role in my running career so far, and I use it as a tool when I'm injured and when I'm healthy.
You played lacrosse during high school. Would you be open to possibly competing in intramural lacrosse at Stanford?
There are some times when I think back to my lacrosse days and want nothing more than to pick up a stick and jump into a scrimmage with my old teammates. Weekend tournaments with my incredibly fun and quirky team, Friday night games under the lights, and even running the two miles from track to lacrosse practice every day are all things that made the sport incredibly fun. I'll miss it, but I think I'll leave my lacrosse days in high school.
What will you miss the most about competing for your team?
I will miss my team's jokes the most. I can always count on them for a laugh during a hard workout, on a 5am cross-country run, after a disappointing race, and just about every other moment we're together.
What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
Coach Reniewicki has taught me the importance of seeing running holistically. I have learned under his guidance about the importance of taking into account my experiences as a whole person rather than just a runner when I work towards my goals. He has helped me find a balance that I plan to incorporate into my future ventures.
What was the deciding factor that made you choose Stanford University?
I felt that Stanford has the absolute best of everything I want to do. Academically, I am interested in Engineering, a field with abundant opportunity at Stanford. Athletically, I am very excited to work with a team who is extremely dedicated and encouraging. The weather, proximity to home, and location are just some small bonuses.
(Below: In early February, Abi Archer signed her NLI to compete for Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. - photo provided by Archer)
What about Coach Miltenberg's coaching philosophy stands out to you?
I met with both Coach Miltenberg and Coach DeBole, both of which I could see right away are extremely experienced and encouraging coaches. What I like about the Cardinal distance program is the unbelievable dedication and focus that is a product of a collective team effort. The overall feel of the team is incredibly welcoming and motivating.
What do you think your specialty will be at the collegiate level?
I feel like I'm a longer-the-better type person, so I think my specialty may end up being the 5km.
What are your college plans? Have you decided on a major?
I am very interested in Engineering as well as Biological Sciences and Medicine. I have considered Biomedical Engineering, but I think I have lots of exploring to do before I find what I really want to do.
Who would you like to thank for your success in high school?
I'd like to thank my parents for their unwavering support and patience, as well as Coach Reniewicki, for his trust and guidance. I'd also like to thank my family friend and summer coach, Nash, who taught me the sport of running four short years ago and has continued to shape my running career ever since.
Are there any shout-outs you'd like to give?
Shout out to my super funny and supportive sister who always reminds me that it's just for fun.
If you could go on a long run with any professional athlete who would you pick?
What's the best literary work you read in high school?
To Kill a Mockingbird or 1984
You've carried a 4.39 GPA at Chaparral HS. What was your favorite subject in school?
Human Physiology and Anatomy
Would you rather have the ability to play any instrument or speak any language?
I'd rather speak any language - especially French
What are you most excited to do when you get to Palo Alto, California?
Run with some trees