AZ XC Athlete Spotlight 2020: Noah Plaza

Willams Field's Noah Plaza in AZ ended his junior season running 4th in the sectionals, 11th overall in Division 2 State Championships, #46-ranked 5K cross country runner in Arizona, #18-ranked junior in Arizona, and #14-ranked Division 2, boy runner. 

Noah took the time to answer some questions for us about himself and the season thus far - here are his responses:

What are your XC goals for this season?

My goal for this season is to get the boys' varsity team to state again this year.

What has been the strangest thing about training for XC during the pandemic?

The strangest thing about training for XC during this pandemic has been having to be socially distant from my teammates. We all get along really well and enjoy being around each other.

Who is your toughest competition?

Randy Espinoza, Dayton Carlson, and Javier Garcia

How are you liking racing in these waves at meets this season?

The waves have been a huge challenge for me. I get a lot of my motivation from racing against my competitors. I miss being at the starting line with all of my fellow athletes.

What is the biggest difference you in racing last year to this year?

The biggest difference for me in racing last year to this year has been the reduced number of meets and the different courses this year.

Who is your biggest fan/supporter? How do he/she/they show you this support?

My biggest supporters are my parents. They are always doing everything they can to make sure I'm prepared for my upcoming meets and are on the course of every meet cheering me on.

How was your summer training affected by Covid this summer? What was similar from previous years? What was different about it?

This year was similar to previous years in that our workouts and routine was the same. It was different this year because we have to wear masks and do social distancing. Also during the summer, we were required to take a 2-week break from training together as a team.

How long have you been running? What do you enjoy most about running/xc?

I have been running since 5th grade. I enjoy running in general and running with and against other athletes who share the same passion as me.

Is there a song, movie, show, or saying that motivates you or keeps you focused on your goals? If yes, what is it and why?

Usually, when I find myself starting to think about giving up I think of the reasons why I've held on for so long and that keeps me motivated to push forward toward my goals.

What's your pre-race meal?

I eat scrambled eggs and bacon, sometimes toast as well.

Do you have any superstitions before the night of a race? (Any clothing you have to wear? Song you have to listen to? Food you need to eat? Etc.) If yes, how did this start?

I have a routine that I follow the night before the meet which includes stretching, rolling out, and taking an ice bath. During my Freshman year, I was fortunate to have coaches and fellow athletes share tips with me and I've continued with the things that work for me.

Anything else you wish to share with us that you think is important for our readers to know? 

I think a lot of people underestimate all the hard work and dedication it takes to be an XC athlete. I just want to encourage everyone to keep striving towards their goals as a runner.