Today we chat with San Lorenzo Valley HS sophomore, Anna Maxwell (photo to the left courtesy of pressbanner.com). It seems like Anna has been racing in the high school scene for many years but yes, she is still only a sophomore and in the midst of her second HS track and field season. Anna had quite a freshman year as you will see below which included qualifying for the Footlocker National cross country meet. She also qualified to the CA state track and field meet in both the 1600m. and 3200m. This past fall, she led the SLV Cougars to a 2nd place finish at the CA state XC meet in Division IV. She has had an impressive season so far on the track recording the following times: 400m. 58.80, 800m. 2:12.93, 1600m. 4:50.65 and 3200m. 10:23.33.
1) How did you get your start running?
I didn’t start running until 7th grade,but I wasn’t serious about it until High School. I still remember calling up Coach Rob (Collins) and asking if I could come out for XC freshmen year; it is one of my fondest memories. I have since given up both soccer and no longer riding my horse to become fully devoted to the sport.
2) What were some of your highlights last year as a freshman in Cross Country? What about Track?
My highlights for my freshman XC season would definitely be: placing 3rd in the State XC meet, going to Footlocker and placing 28th in the country. It was a great experience getting to be around so many high caliber athletes and having time to hang out with Olympic level runners like Suzy Hamliton, Carrie Tollefson and Jen Rhines. On the track, it was getting 4:56 in the mile at the track state meet as well as placing 11th with a time of 10:29 in the 3200m.
3) What did you do over the summer to help prepare you for XC?
This summer we did our normal wonderful week camp in Mammoth and worked a lot on building our base. I also dabbled in weight lifting, plyos, cycling, and hill workouts on occasion.
4) Highlights of Sophomore XC (individual and team)?
Qualifying for Footlocker again and placing 24th as a sophomore was definitely exciting. Also both our boys and girls teams won league and CCS and the girls placed 2nd at State, which was really exciting.
5) You are in the same league as Nikki Hiltz and Vanessa Fraser. Tell us a little about that rivalry and how it's helped each runner.
Being in the same league as Nicki and Venessa is great. They are both fun people and I love the level of competition they create at every race. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and I think we all benefit from being in such a strong league with each other.
6) Did you do anything different this winter to prepare for the current track and field season?
This winter I did a lot of base work. I also quit soccer and am no longer riding my horse so I had more time to focus on running.
7) Favorite track distance? Favorite Invitational? Favorite opponents? Favorite track workout? Favorite run? Favorite XC Invitational?
Favorite track distance is anything I am racing or focusing on from 400-to3200. Favorite track Invitational is definitely Arcadia because of the great level of competition. Favorite opponents: Nicki, Venessa, Cami, Carrie V. and the boy’s team. My favorite track workout would be 6 times 800’s negative splits with speed work at end. Favorite run would definitely be team fun runs in Henry Cowell State park or with a team breakfast after. My favorite XC invite would either Mt. Sac or the Kamehameha Invitational in Hawaii.
8) Tell us a little about your coach Rob Collins and how he has helped you develop to the level you are today.
I owe all my success to my coach; he is the reason SLV has had a history of great distance runners. He knows so much about running and has taught me so much in just the two years I have been training with him. He is fun and playful and helps me prepare both mentally and physically so I am at my best for races. His workouts however daunting they may seem have helped me keep improving and challenging my limits.
9) What was your race plan going into the Arcadia Invitational 3200m. and how did that race unfold for you? What other races did you also run at Arcadia?
Going into Arcadia, I was hoping for a 14 second or more PR or sub 10:15; having run 10:29 at state my freshman year. My game plan was to stay right behind the front pack of 5 or 6 then kick with everything I had the last 650. Unfortunately, I had a little trouble getting out of the pack and got a side stitch about half way through. Frustrated with my place, I slowly started moving up after the stitch and ended up getting 6th with a 6 sec PR. I then had the pleasure of running the DMR mile 30mins later.
10) What does a typical training week look like for you now with a weekend invitational? What about with a league meet during the week?
My weekly running schedule is: Mon. we usually do a long run of about 7.5miles, Tue. We usually have intervals which will be about a 6.5 mile day, Wed. will be a easy day about 3.5 miles Thur. I have league meets totaling about 5 miles, Friday I have about a 4.5 mile day, Sat. we will have a Invitational or a
long run of about 7 miles, Finally Sunday is a day of rest and happiness and recuperation. Total about: 30 miles a week.
11) What races are you most looking forward to the rest of the season?
I am definitely most looking forward to Oregon and the Centennial Invitational later this month, maybe making a trip to North Carolina, the State meet, and the Adidas Dream mile in NY if I can make the cut.
12) Anything else you would like to add.
I would like to thank my teammates for their inspiration, encouragement, and friendship as well as my parents whose trust and support makes my success possible, and who I can always count on.
Thank you very much for your time Anna! AJC