Athlete Name: Sarah Michels
What was your most memorable meet and why?
My most memorable meet was New Balance Indoor Nationals in NYC this past track season. Simply competing on a national stage like that was exhilarating. I watched the video of the race afterwards and it all seemed so professional and other worldly. I learned a lot from that meet ( including how to count to 25 I hope) and it has given me the confidence to fight through my struggles this CC season in hopes of an amazing comeback track season.
Where did you face your biggest competition?
I face tough competition in pretty much every race I run, since I am lucky to have such talented local competitors in my grade like Kaitlyn Lacy, Alena Sapienza-Wright, and Kathleen Simms. Our team competes in Great American, NXR, and Palatine every year, and they all include insanely fast teams who I have had the honor to race against.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments which stands out the most and why?
In terms of running, I am most proud of coming in second to Kaitlyn Lacy in the 3200 last year in State. I set a pretty unrealistic goal and fully dedicated myself to it, and I am proud of how close I came. But more generally, I am most proud of my growth as a confident woman. Through my team, my teachers, and friends, I have learned my dignity and worth, and I am fully prepared for wherever life takes me.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
I would be smarter about injuries. I would be more conscious of taking care of the little aches and pains rather than pushing through them. I would be more patient when it comes to recovery.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
I have had so many injuries, from a stress fracture freshman year to bursitis and turf toe sophomore year to plantar fasciitis this year. It has been a constant struggle nearly catching up to my biggest competition but being sidelined nearly every year. This hurts me not only physically, but mentally as well. All i can do is train hard, listen to my coach, and hope that these obstacles will make me stronger in the long run.
What will you miss the most?
My team. I cannot articulate how amazing being part of AHS Distance has been for the past 4 years. All 60+ girls on the team are my sisters, and I am so honored to have had the opportunity to run with them and lead them. I cannot imagine any team being weirder or more special than my team.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
Listen to your body; it knows what it's doing. Also listen to your doctors; they have their job for a reason. Start developing your patience now because you will need it at some point in your career. Never put yourself in a box, because limits, like fears, are often just illusions. :)
What are your post-highschool or college plans?
I have signed with UK for Cross Country and Track for the 2018-2019 season! I am extremely excited to spend four more years growing as a runner and a student in Lexington!
Who would you like to say thank you to?
I would like to thank, first and foremost, my parents for supporting me through everything. I would also like to thank my team for pushing me to reach my goals (shoutout to Bailey Masterson and Lauryn Grady) even during the toughest workouts and hardest races. They are my family. Lastly, I just want to thank all of my competition who have been so kind to me before and after races even though we are different teams. You all make CC the great sport it is.