You were the top-ranked Class 1A girls’ shot put thrower in the state so far this season, through last Tuesday, with a toss of 40 feet, 4 3/4 inches. How are you feeling about the season?
“It’s been going really well. I’m excited to see what comes next. ... I do both (track and field and softball in the spring), which is really hard to balance. I have track or softball every day.
The only date I don’t really have anything is Sunday, which is nice. It’s a relaxing day where I get to catch up on homework for school. It keeps me busy, and I like it. It gives me more motivation to be better at both sports at the same time, and it helps me reach my goals.”
You placed 11th in last season’s Class 1A girls’ state meet in the shot put. What motivation has that given you in your senior season?
“I was so mad at myself last year for not medaling, but it just gave me more motivation for this year.
My goal for this year is to medal. I do want to become first, a state champion in shot put, but if I go to state, I’m happy with that. I feel like track’s taught me a lot regardless, so wherever it takes me, I’m happy for what I’ve been through so far with it — the ups and the downs of the sport.”
What was some of the work you put in during the track and field offseason to get to this point?
“Since I don’t get a lot of time during the season to practice, during the offseason, I practice a lot. I’d go out to the track when it was cold, when it was really hot, put myself through crazy weather conditions just so I could get some practice in. I watch videos — Instagram reels, YouTube videos — all the time, just trying to better myself.”
When did you start to realize your work was paying off in the throwing ring?
“I just recently, within the past two weeks, found out that I was ranked number one in the state for shot put.
That gave me motivation, but at the same time, I’m learning how to be proud of myself whether I’m doing bad or good. ... The Macon County Meet (last week), I threw the farthest in discus. I threw 117 (feet), which was crazy. ... That put me 13th in the state for discus, which I wasn’t even near the list prior to that. That gave me a little bit of boost in my confidence, too.
I’m hit or miss with discus a lot, and it’s not my favorite out of the two. Shot put’s definitely my favorite. It gave me motivation to try and work on that, too.”
How did you decide on Indiana State?
“At the end of my junior year, I was starting to get some colleges interested in me, closer to Illinois. I was not too sure about going too far away. I want to stay close to home. I’m a big momma’s girl.
But I ventured out. Coach (Brandan Bettenhausen), who’s the throwers coach, reached out to me. I told my mom, ‘I’m absolutely not going there. It’s too far away.’ And she told me I needed to have an open mindset. ... I took a college visit there, and I absolutely fell in love with it. The campus is beautiful, and they have exactly what I want academically (pre-med).”