Ava Parekh seems to improve so much year over year that she could be billed as the improved runner of the year. However, the Chicago Latin HS junior seems to finesse us all with an infectious smile before she toes the line of a championship race... ahh, then after a royal beatdown over three-miles or 5k (you choose the distance), she smiles again reminding us all that it's just business for 16 minutes and change.
Parekh is a champion because she is a great teammate and friend. The 2020 campaign has been a rough one for all of us, but Parekh has able to successfully and safely train with some of her competitor buddies at various locations. She knew the importance of maintaining personal solace and extending the benefits to others because that is what great athletes do.
This season, in general, has been very fruitful for Ava Parekh because she did not waste her tremendous summer training racing/training fitness in which she clocked 10:30 (3200m) and 4:51 (mile).
Parekh was undefeated during the season and won every contest by over ten seconds.
In the biggest meet of Ava's season was the Shazam Championships. Coming into that affair she had a massive bullseye on her back as the favorite.
Immediately, Parekh took out the pace hard on the rough and rugged Three Sisters Park course. Brooke Stromsland of Lakes was able to hang on for the first mile but after that, it was smooth sailing for Parekh who breezed to her first 5k state title on the grass in 17:39.
Parekh's journey of success will continue long after she retires the running shoes. Head Coach Dan Daly has been a part of Ava's life since the first grade. "I have watched her grow into a dedicated athlete who has the rare combination of multiple traits including talent, work ethic, and leadership," he said. "She is also a dedicated student and has excelled in academics missing some track meets to compete at the IL State Math Competition with her math team. Ava tries to take everyone with her on the ride and our entire team has made strides in the past three years culminating in an IL #1 ranking for the entire season."