By Taylor Eldridge
When I was trying to think of an interesting person to talk to for this week’s Run A Mile, I tried to come up with someone not from Wichita and someone not in my top-10 rankings.
I thought last week’s two interviews with Cameron Sprague and Adam Porter went well, so why not go two-in-one again this week? I didn’t think there was any better candidate than Douglass’ Sarah Wright. Oh yeah, her sister, Savannah, is pretty dang good too.
They are two of the better runners in Class-3A this season. Plus they are readers of this blog, so that makes them that much cooler. Click the jump to find out more about this pair of sisters and what you can expect from the rest of the year.
What got you into cross country?
Savannah: “My dad, he ran in the Boston Marathon in his 20’s and like around sixth grade he asked me, ‘Hey, do you want to go for a run?’ and I said, ‘Sure.’ We went out for a run and at first I really hated it, but then I grew to like it. In middle school races we went to I didn’t have a lot of competition and I was winning a lot. It made me want to keep doing it.”
Sarah: “I went out for it because she went out for it and to just try it out. I didn’t really like it my seventh grade year, but I liked it more my eighth grade year. It’s ok my freshman year.”
What’s your relationship like with your sister?
Sarah: “We’re basically best friends. We do everything together and she’s my best friend and I’m hers.”
Savannah: “It’s very competitive in our house. We have another little sister and she’s in seventh grade. We’re all really looking forward to when I’m a senior, Sarah’s a junior and she’s a freshman. We’re really looking forward to that because we’re all really competitive. But me and Sarah are like best friends and do everything together.”
That has to make for some pretty intense training workouts in the summer, right?
Sarah: “It’s been good. We’ve got some really good workouts from a coach that moved and I think that has made us a lot faster. We’ve been doing around 40 miles a week and during the summer we got so much better doing speed work and stuff.”
Savannah: “This summer we trained really hard and we were putting in 40 miles a week. Two weeks ago I went to the doctors to see what was wrong with my leg. I had a stress fracture and I had to take a week off, which was kind of depressing. I was really looking forward to doing good. We knew after my first week something was wrong with me. At all of our road race, I would either beat Sarah or be shortly behind her. So I took a week off. Halstead I returned and I got 12th. It wasn’t as good as I wanted to do. Then last week when I ran I took a minute off my time, so I’m hoping by league to take another one off.”
How frustrating is that injury?
Savannah: “It’s been really frustrating. Sitting out was probably one of the best things that I have done. My parents made me sit out because I just wanted to keep running, but I think if I would have I would have have fractured my fibula and I would just be out for the rest of the season and I wouldn’t be making the recovery that I am making now. I did some research and I looked up some swimming workouts that I can do. Then I bike too because that doesn’t hurt. If I feel any pain I’m supposed to stop. It’s gotten a lot better over the last week. So I’m pretty excited about that.”
Were you a little surprised to have this much success already in your high school career?
Sarah: “I didn’t think that I’d be first in most of my meets. I’ve only got second twice, though. I was just a little surprised. I thought there was going to be seniors girls, like (Clearwater’s) Michelle Babb, coming out and running fast. It’s pretty exciting though. It has boosted my confidence, but I still get nervous before meets because there might be a girl that didn’t run good last week, but she might run good at this meet.”
Does that fear of losing sort of drive you to win?
Sarah: “I do like to win. When I run I feel accomplished after I finish because it feels like I’ve done something. If I don’t do it good, then I don’t like it.”
So what do you think about during races? Clear mind? Strategy?
Sarah: “I’m thinking strategy. I’m thinking what I’m going to do after each mile and if I need to speed up.”
What’s your strategy when you come out in races? Does it vary, or do you have a set one every time out?
Sarah: “If I know somebody is there that’s going to be at my pace, I like to stay with them. But if I know nobody is going to be at my pace, then I go ahead and run at what I want to run at. (Monday) at Eureka there was a girl from Olpe that ran faster than me. She won 3A state last year. I stuck with her and we ran a good race.”
So what’s the expectations this year?
Savannah: “Top-10 at Regionals would be nice. Last year I got disappointed. I was so nervous at Regionals and I just ran completely terrible. Since then, I’ve been there, done that at state track. I won’t be as nervous this year. So at state, I’d like to be up there with Sarah.”
Pre-race traditions: Snickers marathon bar (both)Where they are before a race: Talking to each other, then alone (both)Water or Gatorade: Water before, Gatorade after (Sarah); Gatorade (Savannah)Favorite course: Eureka & Halstead (Sarah); Hesston (Savannah)Personal best 5k: 15:49 (Sarah); 16:18 (Savannah)Cross Country or Track: Track (Savannah)State goal: Top-2 (Sarah); Top-5 (Savannah)
Pre-race traditions: Snickers marathon bar (both)