AZ Salute to Seniors | Ani Durell

School: Glendale Prep
Your name: Ani Durell  

Q: What does your training look like right now given the current situation?
A: I am doing a ton of cross-training to build up my endurance for when we get back to racing. I'm cycling four days a week on top of my usual workouts.

Q: What are you doing to stay busy other than run right now?
A: Spending a lot of time with family. We are trying to look on the bright side and view this as a chance to reset and grow together before college next year.

2019 Division IV XC Girls State - Ani took 3rd

Q: What was your most memorable race/moment?
A: My most memorable race moment was running the Sun Angel Championships for the first time my sophomore year. I had dropped 8 seconds in the qualifying race, and I had no idea what to expect from the championship. My nerves had never been higher, but the moment the gun went off, I felt like I was flying. Racing with so many experienced girls made me realize that this is where I wanted to be. I wanted to race at this caliber every chance I could. I ended up dropping another 4 seconds, hitting 5:20, a time I didn't even realize I was capable of.

Q: What was the funniest thing that happened during your running career?
A: That same race at the Sun Angel championship, I was standing near Olivia Mountain and Rachel Fields, both of who graduated before me. We were all incredibly nervous but were enjoying making small talk to keep us calm. Before we realized it, the rest of our heat had headed to the start line without us while we were chatting. At the time, I think it broke the rigid tension we all were feeling and gave us a chance to laugh right before one of the biggest races of our season.

2019 Sectional Champs - Glendale Prep Interview

Q: Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
A: In middle school, Abigail Washburn and I were neck-and-neck whenever we raced. The same continued throughout our freshman year. We pushed each other and grew as athletes because of her. I have her to thank for my kick finish! We would always give it our all the last 200 meters. I missed her when she had to take a break, but I ended up finding Olivia Mountain as my most inspiring competition throughout the next few years. I loved racing her, because I felt focused just being around her.

Q: What was your greatest accomplishment?
A: my greatest accomplishment was overcoming a stress fracture that took me out for 4 months. I was scared I wouldn't be able to compete as high as I wanted to, but I worked hard and was proud of how I grew after I recovered.

2019 Division IV Section I Girls XC Sectionals - Ani took 2nd

Q: If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
A: As a younger athlete, I would have had more confidence in myself. I think I held myself back by assuming other runners would be faster because they were older.

2019 AIA Division IV State Meet - 800m Girls Final - Ani took 5th

Q: What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
A: I had 2 stress fractures within one year. Bouncing back took a lot of intense cross-training and mental toughness.

Q: What will you miss the most?
A: I will miss the friendships I've formed with the girls I'm used to racing with. I've grown up these past 4 years with so many of these athletes, and we have all become stronger as runners together.

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