Salute To Seniors: Mariah Howlett Of Lake Norman Charter

Name: Mariah Howlett

School: Lake Norman Charter 


What was your most memorable race/moment?

My most memorable moment was when my team and I won a State championship for the first time during cross country. I think it really reflected the hard work and atmosphere we had created within the team. My most memorable race would be Footlocker Regionals where I was able toPR by 35 seconds and qualify for Nationals. I feel like that race reflected the hard work and all the things I had learned throughout my years of running. 


Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

I feel like your biggest competition is always yourself. I am constantly trying to become a better me. For me, every race and run is an opportunity to learn more about myself and running. I am constantly learning how to push myself in new ways. 


What was your greatest accomplishment?

Qualifying for Footlocker Nationals, winning states twice with my team, gaining 5 individual state titles, or winning Dash for Doobie 3200 in 10:39. It's hard to choose for me since each experience is valuable and will have a place as my "greatest accomplishment" in its own unique way. 


If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?

I would not change anything. I made a ton of mistakes, I had injures, and some races just went horribly wrong. If these things hadn't happened, I would not be who I am today. Sometimes you learn the most from the "bad" days. I think mistakes have helped me learn the most about running and life. 


What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

I've had two different stress fractures and a number of different smaller annoyances such as tendonitis. All of them were really difficult for me to learn to cope with. Junior year cross country I had worked really hard all year with hopes of winning States but I ended up getting a stress fracture. I ran in the race because I wanted to help score points for the team but I ended up somewhere in 60th. Our team did not place where we wanted to and we were all very disappointed. However, I think it lit a fire for all of us and to come back and win it the next year, meant the world. 


What will you miss the most?

The "Spicy Girls" and the team atmosphere. We all had a very special bond and I will miss seeing my teammates every day at practice. I am excited to see what the team has in store for the future! 


What advice you would give to younger athletes?

Have fun with it. There are going to be ups and downs but don't get so caught up in getting to the destination that you forget to enjoy the everyday process. 


What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?

Coach Z means so much to everyone on the team. He not only shaped me into the runner I am but he has helped shape me as a person. He teaches us perseverance and I could not be more thankful that I had the opportunity to be coached by him. 


What are your college plans?

I plan on furthering my education and running career at NC State (Go Pack!). 


Who would you like to say thank you to?

The list of my supports is too astronomical to begin to list everyone who has been there for me along the way, but to name a few: 

Thank you to my parents who have always supported me in all my dreams, my family near and far who always send their support, my coach who is always there for me as a coach and mentor, my teammates who uplifted and supported each other through all the hard workouts, my teammate Izzy who was always there to push me to be my best, all my running partners who have met me at all sorts of odd hours to get in yet another run, and all the people I have had the opportunity to race and learn from whom in the uniqueness of the sport of running have both pushed me in competition yet continue to support and congratulate each other which encourages me to become my best.