Breese Mater Dei junior Madeline Lager is looking to improve on her 14th place finish at the state meet in 2011. See what she has to say about her training, pre-race routines, and her goals for the 2012 season in this Spotlight Athlete feature.
How did you get started in XC?
In grade school I participated in track and my family encouraged me to run cross country in high school. I really enjoyed running so I thought I would try it out.
In 2010 you finished 57th at state. In 2011 you placed 14th. What do you attribute that growth too?
I definitely trained much harder my sophomore year. After experiencing the state meet my freshman year and placing 57th I made it my goal to be an all-stater in 2011. I give a lot of credit to my teammate, Ellen Toennies, who pushed me to work hard everyday in practice.
What has your summer training been like?
My summer training has been going very well. I'm trying to go for more mileage this year. It has been tough with the heat, but we always try to get out early.
Do you have any favorite workouts?
My favorite workout would have to be speed workouts because it is something different from the usual long runs we do.
Do you have any pre-race routines?
My pre-race routine always starts with a little jog followed by the same stretching routine. Before every race I jump three times and roll out my shoulders, all the while trying to get mentally prepared.
What meets are you looking forward to this year?
I'm definitely looking forward to the Carlinville Invite because that's always a fast race. Also, the Tiger Classic in Edwardsville is always a fun race to look forward to.
What are your goals for your senior season?
My main goal for this season is to make it to the state meet, beat my time from last year in Peoria, and finish in the top ten. My hopes are high for this season and I can't wait to see how me and my team do!