AZ Salute to Seniors | Haley Smith

Name: Haley Smith
School: Desert Mountain High School

Q: What does your training look like right now given the current situation?
A: My training itself has remained the same but the number of teammates I'm running with has changed to around 2-6 people (including me). But I'm trying to make the most of it by running in new places and getting to know the same few people i've been around a little better.

Q: What are you doing to stay busy other than run right now?
A: Online school! Reading, playing cornhole, finding places to hammock and painting.

Q: What was your most memorable race/moment?
A: My most memorable race was my sophomore year SUSD XC City Race. It was just above 100° out and I had just been sick. I raced and would've finished 3rd except for the fact I had a heat stroke and fell like Bambi on ice on the grass about 10 meters away from the finish line. Eventually, I crawled across finishing in about 8th place and made my way to recovery in the ER. I will never forget that race and my will to want to finish. I got to skip school the next day too so that was a plus.

Q: What was the funniest thing that happened during your running career?
A: This is hard, considering my team is filled with jokesters. But one specific memory that comes to mind is when the boys won watermelons and somehow made watermelon helmets out of them and ran around with them on at a cross country race.

Q: Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
A: My biggest competition has been my two teammates Claire Pescatore and Kaylin Lacher. They've pushed me beyond belief. But outside of my school I would say Ani Durrell at Glendale Prep and Jenna Lee from Horizon!

Q: What was your greatest accomplishment?
A: My greatest accomplishment was anchoring my 4x800 team at state my junior year. I got the baton in 5th place and we finished 2nd. It was such an amazing feeling to be on the podium with a team I cherished so much.

Q: If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
A: I would change the fact that I look at my watch too much in workouts. I wish I would just run on feel and not worry so much about numbers but I will continue to work on that in my collegiate running career. I also wish I would have socialized more earlier on with my sprinter and field event teammates.

Q: What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
A: I have had my fair share of injuries and during those times staying mentally in it, motivated and positive for the rest of the team was super hard but in the end, I learned from my experience and grew. It's hard being a cheerleader on the sidelines.

Q: What will you miss the most?
A: Coach Nate's endless words of wisdom and knowledge! As well as Coach Kevin's hilarious comments on any subject matter. I will also definitely miss my teammates and my other amazing coaches. They've all left individual marks on me that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. The team environment is something I will cherish with my Desert Mountain family for a very long time. Oh, and Coach Nate's weight room playlist.

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