The Conestoga junior qualified for indoor New Balance Nationals last week, running the 3,000 meter race in 10:15, which ranks her in the top 10 in the state of Pennsylvania and moves her up to second in the Conestoga record books. Last fall, she finished in first place at the Central League cross-country championships, and went on to place 18th in the PIAA Class AAA state championships.
Q: Last week, when you qualified for indoor New Balance Nationals and ran the 3,000 meter race in 10:15, what was your most vivid memory of that race?
A: Around my 10th out of the 15 laps, I remember looking up at my coach, Joe Puleo, and he was reminding me to stay focused and in rhythm. Hearing those words really benefited me mentally when facing the last 1,000 meters.
Q: What do you think was the key to your performance that day?
A: Getting plenty of sleep the night before, and doing a “shake-out” run – 15 minutes of easy running – the morning of my race.
Q: Last fall, you won the Central League cross-country championship. Tell us a little about the course and the weather conditions that day. What was your most vivid memory of that race?
A: The course has some sharp turns and a big hill at the end, making it hard to run fast. When I race there, I am always racing for place, not time. The weather was ideal, warm, not too windy. The first memory of the race that comes to my mind is how fun it was to race girls I’ve been competing against since my freshman year. I remember about 200 meters into the race, I looked to my left and said “good luck” to a girl from Harriton, who I have had the opportunity to get to know over the last few years. That moment was so much more unambiguous to me than the memory of crossing the finish line.
Q: Tell us a little about your experience at the PIAA Class AAA cross-country state championships – it was your third time competing at States.
A: My freshman year my team qualified and placed eighth out of 19 teams. Sophomore year I had the pleasure of qualifying with my former teammate, Johanna Nasman. Placing 18th my Junior year was truly an incredible moment for me. I want to thank my old coach, Coach [Ryan] Comstock, for teaching and coaching me my freshmen and sophomore year.
Q: Does your running strategy change at all, running indoors versus running outdoors?
A: Personally, my running strategy does not alter from indoor to outdoor.
Q: Briefly describe for us your pre-race preparation (physical, mental) on the day of a race.
A: After I wake up, I do my shake-out run (15 minutes of easy running), then I eat my breakfast. After that, I do rope stretching to help loosen up my leg muscles. While I’m stretching, I visualize my race, lap for lap. Doing this allows me to relax, and prepare mentally for my race.
Q: Tell us a little about your running shoes, the type of shoe you favor and why.
A: I train in Nike Pegasus 32. I have favored Nike for a while now. They provide great arch support, while being lightweight.
Q: What has been the most important thing you have learned on the track this year?
A: I have learned patience while racing, and I’ve gained more knowledge on running form from one of my coaches, Coach Puleo.
Q: What’s your favorite local running venue and why?
A: The Chester Valley Trail because of the flat terrain, low traffic, and scenery.
Q: What aspect of your running are you working on most recently?
A: Coach Puleo recently introduced a new, beneficial idea to my family and me, called Active Release Techniques. With the assistance of Dr. Glogowski (a chiropractor), I have improved my range of motion in my stride. I feel more confident in my strength and running form.
Q: You would like to run for a college program. What college(s) are among your current favorites? What do you think you might like to major in at college? Is there a career field that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: My top choice right now is the U.S. Military Academy. I want to study Medicine.
Fun facts – Dominique Shultz
Favorite book: 1984.
Favorite pre-race pump-up song: Remember the Name.
Favorite place to visit: Puerto Rico, with my family.
Favorite pre-race meal: Bagel and fruit.
Favorite color: Periwinkle.
Person I most admire: “I admire my friend Ryan for his optimistic outlook on life, and always being there to support me.”
Birth date: Sept. 18, 1999 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Family members: parents Carlos and Mary, older sister Annamarie, younger brother Carlos Miguel, and dog Daisy.
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)