The sophomore cross-country runner finished second in the PIAA Class A state championships, same as last year, but outran her previous state championship finishing time by 46 seconds. She has finished in first place in the PIAA Class A District One championships the past two years, and captured the AACA Championship both years as well, posting a time of 17:54 this year, beating the previous first place AACA Championship record by 14 seconds. An all-around athlete, she also participates in field hockey, swimming and track at Sacred Heart.
Q: Tell us a little about the course conditions at the PIAA Class A state championships. What was your most vivid memory of that race? What do you think was the key to your performance that day?
A: The way I finished in states this year compared to last year was so exciting. I was really hoping to beat [Marianne Abdalah, the eventual winner], but she held off. My most vivid memory of the race was the last stretch of the finish because we were so close and everyone was screaming and I could here some people saying, “Come Emma, beat her.” I enjoy the Hershey course because I enjoy hills, which I think was an advantage running such a close race at states.
Q: What do you consider your best cross-country race of the season, and why?
A: I would consider the PIAA state championship my best race because I felt great and was able to stay with Marianne [Abdalah] to have a close finish. Although, I did break the record at AACA Champs by 14 seconds, I didn’t feel as comfortable as I had running at States. States has a harder course, but I prefer that over Tyler State Park.
Q: Briefly describe for us your pre-race preparation (physical, mental) on the day of a race.
A: My pre-race preparation always consist of a 15-20 minute light jog and then I do dynamic stretches. Closer to race time I do some striders at my spot on the line. Mentally I just tell myself to go out there and do my best.
Q: Tell us a little about your running shoes, the type of shoe you favor and why.
A: The running shoes I prefer are Asics. I have worn Asics my entire running experience and have never outgrown the feeling I have in them . My spikes, though, are Nike, so they do feel a bit different than the Asics I train in.
A: Throughout the season I have been working on pacing myself and shooting for a better time. Going into a race I’m not as worried about the place, but look more to better my time.
Q: What’s your favorite running venue and why?
A: My favorite running venue is the Hershey course at States. Like I said before, I really enjoy hills and this is a course that test your limits because the course has a lot of hills. You get a great feeling when you finish the race and I was even happier when I had improved my time.
Q: What aspect of your running are you working on most recently?
A: The aspect of running that I really focused on, and continue to focus on, is pacing. My dad and I have run different workouts to try and improve my pacing. This way I can run specific mile times and be able to predict my time.
Q: What is your favorite school subject? What do you think you might want to major in at college?
A: My favorite subject is probably math and science. I am still undecided, but I may like to major in pharmaceuticals or medicine.
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