Athlete Name: Elizabeth Shannon
School: Meade County
What was your most memorable meet and why?
2017 Regionals meet. My team wasn't even supposed to qualify, we went in seeded 6th and top 5 advanced. I was hoping to qualify individually and I did but all I cared about was having my team beside me on the starting line at state senior year. During the awards ceremony when they announced that my team placed 4th against all odds, I burst into tears and embraced my team because I was so thankful to have one more go around at state with my girls.
Where did you face your biggest competition?
I'd honestly have to say at the state meets all three years I qualified. Being a part of the "best of the best" in Kentucky was enough for me.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments which stands out the most and why?
My constant determination to reach the goals I set for myself, high or low.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
If I could change something it would be the fact that I didn't change my eating habits to be more healthy and work out on my own time until junior year. Imagine the success I would've had if I had changed those things earlier.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
Confidence in myself, and two terrible stress fractures putting a toll on freshman year track season and junior year track season-senior year cross country season. From when I started running for Meade County up until last year at Lexington Catholic when I finally broke 20, I never believed in the amount of talent I actually have. Once I broke 20 though it was like nothing was impossible and I lost that "wall" that had been stopping me from having confidence in myself and my abilities. But then during late track season junior year I got diagnosed with a stress fracture in my hip leaving me on crutches for three weeks and completely non-weight bearing during the time. Finally I could walk again, then slowly started running again in late July. Coming into this cross country season I didn't expect the amount of success I had. I recovered back to almost breaking 21. While that doesn't seem like much I went from not being able to walk on both legs, to cutting almost 4 minutes down from my first to my last race during this season. I thought about giving up almost everyday but I persevered and it was worth it.
What will you miss the most?
All of the pre-practice talks in the locker room. My girls are my best friends, so not having them to talk to about my days before practice will be a big change to adjust to next year.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
Never ever give up. You will realize why later on. Let running be when you let go of all of your problems and it's just you and the ground beneath your feet.
What are your post-highschool or college plans?
I plan on running in college I just have yet to decide where exactly. I want to major in Pre-Med on a biology route and later become a sports physician.
Who would you like to say thank you to?
First off, my aunt and family for always believing in me and my potential. My coaches Garner, Bishop, Jantzen and Hampton for always pushing me to do my best, whether on the course or in the classroom. And finally my girls for always pushing me to achieve my goals and believing the possibilities.