Michelle Sikes

School: Lakewood
Hometown: Lakewood
Age: 16

Major Achievements:  2000 State XC-2nd place; 2000 Footlocker Midwest-6th place: 2000 Footlocker Nationals-22nd place; 2001 State XC-Champion
1.  OGXC:  At the state meet, people set it out as a showdown between you and Emily King of Dublin Coffman, did you see it that way at all?

MS:  No, I went into the race without paying attention to the pre-race predictions of other people.  My coach mentioned that it might end up being Emily and me at the front, but that was about it.

2.  OGXC:  What was your strategy for that race?

MS:  It was pretty simple - I just wanted to position myself with the front group and then take the lead when I knew I could maintain it.

3.  OGXC:  There seems to have been an enormous amount of pressure on you to perform well every week out; not to have an off day.  There was always someone pecking at your heels, an Infeld or a King.  Did you feel that pressure? and how did you deal with it?

MS:  I felt some pressure, but I think that it comes mostly from expectations that I place on myself.  I try to ignore the comments, forecasts, and criticisms of others (except for what my coaches and my teammates have to say) and focus completely on what I think I can do.

4.  OGXC:  Coming up on November 24th is the Footlocker Midwest Regional, you qualified to Nationals last year, how do you like your chances this year?

MS:  I'd love to qualify again, but it's all about how each person runs on that given day.

5.  OGXC:  What are your goals as far as the postseason, track, and for the future?

MS:  My goal for the postseason is to qualify for Footlocker, and then to do well at state in track.  For the future...I honestly have no idea where I want to go to school, but I know I want to run in college.

6.  OGXC:  What is a typical week of training like for you?

MS:  Sunday - Off day, no running; Monday - long day: 12 -400 repeats with 400 recovery; Tuesday- 50 minute train run in the valley; Wednesday- 8 - 400 repeats with 400 recovery; Thursday - 4-5 mile look around Lakewood; Friday - 3-4 miles; Saturday - Race

7.  OGXC:  Who was the most influential person in your running career?  Who got you started in the sport?

MS:  I started running track in 8th grade because that was when it was first offered as an interscholastic sport.  I decided to run cross country, instead of play soccer, as a freshman, because I was pretty successful in 8th grade and my best friend, Jillian Snyder, was also running.  The other most influential person in my running career is my coach Daniela Andrews.

8.  OGXC:  Okay, one for fun.  If you could go on a run with anyone in the world, past or present, who would it be and why?

MS:  hmmmm I'd love to run with Steve Prefontaine - he is definitely inspiring and after watching the GREAT movie about his life (Without Limits) about 20 times, I know I would love to get to know him.

9.  OGXC:  I know you played basketball as well as ran, did you ever participate in any other sports?

MS:  In addition to basketball, I played soccer for 9 years, and I continue to play softball in the summer.

10.  OGXC:  What are some of your interests outside of running?

MS:  I play the violin and the keyboard, and I like ping-pong, biking, golf, rollerblading, swimming, and driving.  I also like seeing movies, TP'ing, listening to music, and hanging out with friends.

11.  OGXC:  Okay, it's the last question, I promise!  Are there any words of wisdom or advice for othere runners or anything else you'd like to say to everyone?

MS:  This quote from Jim Ryun is one I read all the time - maybe someone else will also find it motivating: "If you are not afraid to go out and compete, then you will run your best race.  But, if you go out with a fear of something, even against yourself or against the clock, then you have lost the race before you start."
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