Name: Carlene Hamilton
School: Skyline HS
3200m - 11:29.82 @ Chandler Rotary Invitational (2018)
3 Mile - 17:38.3 @ Woodbridge Cross-Country Classic (2017)
5km - 18:40.4 @ Nike Desert Twilight Invitational (2018)
Carlene Hamilton set school records for the Coyotes in the 3-Mile and 5km in her Senior cross-country season. She ended her season at the AIA Cross-Country State Championships, where she placed 14th in the D1 Girls' race. Though she specializes as a true distance runner, Hamilton qualified for two events at the AIA Track and Field State Championships.
Where are you from and when did you begin running?
I am from Mesa, Arizona and I began running when I was 9 years old.
What was your most memorable race?
My most memorable race was the 2018 Chandler Rotary Elite 3200, where I broke 11:30 for the first time.
Did you listen to music before competing? If so what's on your playlist?
Yes, I listen to music before races, I listen to rap, usually the new Spiderman: Into The Spider-Verse soundtrack.
Do you have any superstitions or rituals that you go through when preparing for meets?
I like to wear fun socks, because if I'm too serious, I tend to choke and perform not as well.
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
My biggest competition over the past 5 years actually, is Kailey Welch of Mountain View High School. While she's always been a lot faster than me, I've always looked up to her and always have had a friendly-competitive vibe with her.
What was your greatest accomplishment?
Breaking my school's 3-mile school record Junior Year at the Woodbridge Invitational, breaking the 5K school record at the Twilight Meet this past XC season. And breaking 5:30 and qualifying for state at the Last Chance Meet at Desert Vista this year.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
I would definitely run the 1600 more, so I could improve on my footspeed.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
Going into the state meet junior year, I experienced a developing stress fracture and it looked like I wouldn't be running. I took the week before the race off, and was able to run and received my first state medal.
What will you miss the most about competing for your team?
Team dinners, and travelling meets. Working with the Skyline girls has been a blessing and I'm so grateful for everything they taught me.
What advice would you give to younger athletes?
Learn to take care of your body early, and don't be afraid to be injured. It's better to let your coach know and to take the day off and miss a workout, than it is to miss the entire season.
What is the most valuable lesson that you've learned from your coach?
The most valuable thing that Coach Williams has taught me is that you're your true self when no one else is looking. That integrity and honesty is more important than any medal or trophy.
What do you like to do outside of running?
When I'm not running, I like to hike and go camping with my family. I also enjoy reading and learning about how our government functions.
What are your college plans? Have you decided on a major?
Next year I will be attending Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa and I will be studying Political Science.
What was the deciding factor that made you choose Wartburg College?
Definitely the coach and the team aspect of things. They have a strong Political Science program.
Ryan Chapman is the Head Cross-Country Coach at Wartburg College. In Spring of 2015, he was named the USTFCCCA Midwest Regional Women's Coach of the Year. What do you like about his coaching style or philosophy?
I love his coaching style. In high school I was on a team that was very generalized. And while individuals were coached, we were always grouped up. With Coach Chapman, he coaches every athlete at a different level. For him it isn't about time, it's about effort. I'm really excited to compete under his guidance.
Who would you like to thank for your success in high school?
I would like to thank my parents for pushing me both academically and athletically. They have supported me in running since I was nine and I'm so grateful for them being there for me the entire time.
If you could have any superpower what would it be?
I wish I could fly!
What's the last movie you watched?
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?
I really enjoyed Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, I read it my Junior Year and it was just really weird and I liked the dystopian feel to it.
What are you most excited to do when you get to Waverly, Iowa?
The only time I've ever seen snow is when I went to Chicago this past January. So, I'm excited to experience my very first winter!