Name: Zaria Dunlap
School: Providence High School
What was you most memorable race/moment?
My most memorable race was when my team ran the 4x400M at 4A Indoor States. After not doing so well in long jump earlier that day, I was determined to give everything I had in that race. I ran so hard that I could barely move afterwards. It was all worth it because we placed second in the state.
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
No doubt my biggest competitor throughout high school was myself. Through every workout and all the drills, I always wanted to be better. Everyday I tried to improve and wanted to beat my old times. My coaches stressed the importance that a PR is better than a win.
What was your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment was making it to States for long jump in both indoor and outdoor. Long jump is one of my favorite events that I have been doing since my sophomore year. This year with the help of going to extra practices with Elite Track and Training, I was able to improve by so much and jump farther and eventually set a new school record this year.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
I would have definitely worked more on my running technique throughout the summer with Coach Smith and his Elite Track and Field Training program. Since I also played travel softball it was hard to continue running in the summer. If I had practiced with Elite TFT, I would have greatly improved my running technique to become an even better sprinter.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
The most difficult obstacle I had to overcome was running the 4x400M. I didn't run it until my senior year and before it was a big challenge. I worked really hard to get stronger each race and execute my race plan.
What will you miss the most?
I will definitely miss my teammates. They made everything much more fun and worth it. When there was a hard workout or even a bad day at school, I always looked forward to spending time with my teammates. They were always there to make the day or workout that much better while also pushing me to be better.
What advice would you give to younger athletes?
My advice to younger athletes is to surround yourself with people that have the same goals as you and will push you into becoming a better person. I am extremely blessed that I was surrounded by people that really loved and cared about me and my success. Without them I wouldn't be where I am today.
What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goal?
My coaches have taught me that anything is possible through dedication and commitment. My coaches have taught me a lot over the years and mostly about always pushing through and never letting up. I never thought I would be running the 4x400M this year let alone placing 2nd at 4A Indoor States, 1st at 4A Outdoor States, and 7th at NBN.
What are your college plans?
I am excited to be playing softball at the University of Illinois. I have been playing softball from a young age and have been running track as a second sport since 8th grade.
Who would you like to say thank you to?
I would firstly like to thank my dad and his support. I ultimately wouldn't be able to do anything without him. He has always allowed me to pursue anything and be the best I can be. I'd like to thank Coach Touranjoe who always believed in me and pushed me to be the best I can be the last four years. I would also like to thank Coach Smith. He has trained me into becoming an even better track athlete and taught me that there are no days off.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Shout out to the entire Providence Track Team especially my 4x400M relay and Elite TFT!