Name: Rujuta Sane
School: Hamilton HS
Where are you from and when did you begin running?
I am born and brought up in AZ, but my family comes from India. I've always loved running since elementary school, but never did it competitively until track season last year.
Do you have a favorite pre-race routine or ritual you could describe for us?
I attend our team's pasta dinners as a pre-race ritual, which helps to calm down nerves and gets me excited for the race. I also make sure I'm hydrated and stretched out the night before the race.
What has been your favorite cross-country meet so far, and why?
So far, I've liked the Nike Desert Twilight meet the best just because of the great environment, the competition, and the course. I also liked all the food options available after.
Describe your coaches and what they always affirm at practice?
My coaches are always there to advise and support me through all the tough workouts and races. They always encourage me to push myself while still knowing my limits.
How do you spend your 'off time' away from academics and extracurriculars?
I like to spend time with friends and bake. Both these things help relieve stress from my hectic schedule.
You play Badminton for Hamilton, and you placed third at the AIA DI State Championship for singles last year. This year, you've set school records at both 5km and 3-mile in just your first season. What does it mean for you to achieve that kind of success in two sports?
It obviously means a lot to me, but I also use both those accomplishments as a reminder that I have potential in both sports, which motivates me to keep working hard and give it my all.
Are there any common elements which you find between both badminton and running?
Even though the nature of both sports is extremely different, the competitive aspects are quite similar. I have to get into a calm, confident mindset before both badminton games and cross-country races or I know I won't perform my best.
What advice would you offer to athletes who intend to juggle two sports?
I would tell them to plan out their schedule before the season starts and make sure there are minimal conflicts between both sports. I would also advise them to have clear priorities and be able to manage their time well; playing two sports during the same season is a huge time commitment and requires sacrifices in other areas.
Judging from your Instagram, I take it you're somewhat of a foodie and a desert connoisseur. If you could treat yourself to something that you've eaten, with all expenses paid, what would you get?
I would definitely have a fried banana with coconut ice cream from any local Thai restaurant.
Do you have a role-model from years past at Hamilton? If so what was the most valuable lesson they taught you?
My role models are honestly both of the captains on the team. They've been running cross country a lot longer than I have, so I know I can always look to them for advice. They've taught me to be better in-tune with myself while running so that I know when to push myself and when to stop.
(Sane has set two school records for Hamilton in just her first year of cross country. - photo by John Hays)
What's your favorite place to eat after a race?
My favorite thing to eat after races is definitely some form of ice cream or peanut butter.
What was the last movie you watched?
The last movie I watched was Tall Girl, unfortunately.
What's been your favorite place that you've run at so far?
I liked Woodbridge's location since we got to go explore parts of California after.
What is your favorite subject in school?
My favorite subject is math.
Would you rather have the ability to play any instrument or communicate in any language?
I'd want to be able to speak any language.