Salute To Seniors: Ainsley Lay (Lake Norman Charter)

Ainsley Lay (Lake Norman Charter)

Personal Records High School
800 Meter Run2:38.84
1600 Meter Run5:29.50
One Mile Run5:56.38
3200 Meter Run12:26.30
3200 Meter Run14:16.10
Two Mile Run14:12.91
5000 Meter Run20:52.20

What was your greatest moment while competing in high school? 

My greatest moment was breaking a 5:30 mile my sophomore year. It's such a cool feeling when hard work finally pays off!

What is your biggest regret (related to T&F in high school) or what would you have done differently and why?

My biggest regret through high school running would have to be my tendency to doubt myself. Throughout high school I have had numerous stress fractures in my lower legs and have dedicated many hours on the bike and in the pool cross training to build strength for the next season. When it came to race day sometimes I would question myself. If I had less mileage on my legs than my competitors would that make me slower? Looking back at it I now realize that just because I wasn't logging 50 miles a week (or running at all) for periods of time it didn't make me slow or weak, It just meant I needed to listen to my body and find another way to train.

What will you miss the most about HS T&F/XC?

I will miss the friendships I've made and strengthened through the last 4 years. My teammates have seen me at my highest, signing to run at my dream school and my lowest, having to sit on the sidelines due to stress fractures,  just as I have seen theirs. We have endured the same strenuous workouts and pushed each other to our limits while still having fun simply running together.

What is some advice from incoming frosh and rising seniors on your high school team that you would like to share with them?

As cliche as this may sound, my advice would be to just keep coming out. Goals aren't accomplished overnight, it's a process filled with setbacks, comebacks, and everything in between. Try to trust that process (as tedious as it might be) and know that as long as you keep putting your heart into it you will eventually get where you want to go.

What was the hardest workout you did your entire high school career? Did you like it or did you dread it?

Hands down 7x1000m repeats in the hot sun was my hardest workout. I'll never forget laying on the football field with my teammate half dead between reps. I don't think that I could ever admit that I liked doing them but I liked that they made me physically and mentally stronger and helped me improve.

How did you make track/XC a very individual sport into more of a team sport?  

I've always been a believer of the phrase we > me especially for but not limited to running. My high school team realized that in order to be successful in meets we had to run as a pack and in order to do that we had to bond together. My junior year was when we grew closer than ever before and learned to run not only for ourselves but for each other and we ended up winning the cross country state championship.

Finally, what are your college plans? Will you be competing in college, where? What do you plan on studying? What do you have as career plans? 

I'm so excited to be continuing to study and run Division I Cross Country and Track at the University of North Carolina Wilmington! I'll be majoring in exercise science and I'm planning to become a Physical Therapist to help others overcome similar injuries as my own. 

Anything else you'd like to add or shoutouts you'd like to give?

Huge thank you to my family, teammates, and coaches for not giving up on me and my dreams even when I thought they were in achievable. To all high school runners: enjoy these 4 years of glorious running they go by way too fast. My instagram is @Ainsley.lay if you want to reach out to me! Through the good, the bad, and the ugly thank you God for four beautiful years of running, and of course GO SEAHAWKS!!