AZ Salute to Seniors | Olivia De La Torre

Name: Olivia De La Torre
School: Willow Canyon High School

Q: What does your training look like right now given the current situation?
A: Training during this time has slowed down, I'm taking this time to let my body heal and focus in on me.

Q: What are you doing to stay busy other than run right now?
A: During this time I'm taking chances to rest, focus on school, spend time with family, and check in on other family members as well as friends.

Q: What was your most memorable race/moment?
A: The most memorable race moment is the 4x400 2018 ASU finals night. I had been wanting this all of high school and the night finally came. We spent the day there relaxing and focusing on the race, studying the track, and watching the college teams run. It finally was our turn, moments before the race our coach at the time gave a speech before the race, as he always did. I was the third leg that night and I remember just standing there getting ready to run and I felt so relaxed, just right at home on that track. I got the baton and took off and passed at least 3 girls, it was the best 400 I had ever run, and for the girls on the team, it was the best race any of us had run. Although we didn't win that night, we knew we did what we had to do and left everything on that track, we ended up cutting 11 whole seconds off our PR.

Q: What was the funniest thing that happened during your running career?
A: We were at practice one day and I just started crying, it was the hard day of the week and we did ladders that day and I'm a 400 and 800 runner so they killed me every time. But while I was crying my coach still made me run, of course, he knew I was fine, but while I was running I face planted on the last curve, right when I was about to finish that lap. We spent the next ten minutes or something just dying of laughter and the other girls with me were laughing too. We got to finish practice early that day too.

Q: Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
A: I would consider myself my biggest competitor, during races I would pace behind girls and take off when I needed to but I always was running against myself. During track it was hard to believe in myself and know that I can do it, there would be meets where I was so off that day I just didn't know what to do. When I saw my times I always wanted to do better in the next race and fight for myself.

Q: What was your greatest accomplishment?
A: My greatest accomplishment had to be the time that I ran my first race back from a hip injury. That day in the 800 I wasn't worried about winning, I just wanted to finish my race and I did. I ended up cutting off at least 2 or 3 seconds, which doesn't seem like much to some people but coming off a hip injury it felt like so much time. I finished the race with pure joy and excitement, I finished and went to the middle of the field looking for my coach and there he was jumping up and down smiling bigger than I've ever seen before. Tears of pure happiness came down, I was feeling so good about my race and my coach being so happy for me.

Q: If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
A: I would run for myself and focus on myself more, there would be practices and meets for track or cross country where I would be so sick or in so much pain because of my hip injuries. I wish I took the chance to heal myself mentally, physically, and emotionally instead of trying to please other people and run for them and not myself. In the long run, it didn't help me perform my best if I was sick or injured.

Q: What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
A: The most difficult obstacle I had to overcome was my freshman year when my twin sister, who I did everything with including track, had been in a soccer accident got a TBI (traumatic brain injury). At that time my whole world came down and I never wanted anything without her again, time went on and the next track season came and I was devastated without her. I had cross country and soccer season before track and it was so much harder there too, but as the year went on and when track season did come I knew I had to run for her, to show her that she made me stronger. It was very hard to not have her on the track with me, or watching her run, but when the time came I always ran for her.

Q: What will you miss the most?
A: What I'll miss the most is track altogether, the practices, the long meet days, cool down days, the friends I made over the years, and just every part of it. I'll miss the feeling of running with passion and so much adrenaline, finishing strong, and the excitement and even disappointment that comes after a race. 

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