Three talented young ladies will travel down Interstate 26 this afternoon to compete at the AAA State Finals at Spring Valley High School. For Seniors Elizabeth Self and Haley McLaughlin, traveling to the State Meet is as sure as the sun rising in the East. 2017 will mark their fourth consecutive trip to the State Finals. Both Haley (pole vault) and Liz (triple jump) qualified as Upper State Champions. Liz will also be competing in 100m hurdles. Freshman Rose Whitt will be making her first trip to Columbia. After two years of struggling at the AAA State Qualifier, she finally broke through with a 2nd place finish in the 800m. All three ladies reflected on each other and the weekend ahead:
- Describe (Haley and Rose) in 5 words or less: Haley is driven and hardworking. Rose is dedicated and very competitive.
- What are your goals for Saturday? I hope to have a clean hurdle race and plan to give it my all to bring home another championship title for the Vikings.
- State Championship weekend is always fun. What part are you looking forward to the most? I am looking forward to being with my teammates and competing with the best athletes in the state.
- What is your favorite memory from your previous 3 State Finals? My favorite memory was standing on the medal stand as state 400-meter hurdle champion.
- How do you want your time at Emerald to be remembered? I want to be remembered as someone who was wholeheartedly dedicated to her academics and athletics.
- Describe (Liz and Rose) in 5 words or less: Liz- dedicated, talented, kind, caring, funny. Rose- young, enjoyable, loving, hilarious, unique
- What are your goals for Saturday? I hope to vault a new PR and win the event. I think that would be the best way to end my high school track and field career.
- State Championship weekend is always fun. What part are you looking forward to the most? Competing is obviously one of the most exciting parts, but I love being able to hang out with my teammates in the hotel and eat dinner together. Over the past couple of years, I’ve always become closer to my teammates because of this.
- What is your favorite memory from your previous 3 State Finals? My favorite memory is definitely when I cleared 10′ at state last year. I had been wanting to clear it all year long, plus I’ve always wanted to PR at state.
- How do you want your time at Emerald to be remembered? I want people to remember not only my performance, but also how I am so dedicated to being a good team member. I try to talk to my teammates at every meet and see how their season is going, so I hope that they will all remember this. I truly care for each and every one of the track and field team members.
- Describe (Haley and Liz) in 5 words or less: Haley- Great friend, persistent, hard worker, cool. Liz- multi-talented, funny, fast, sweet
- What are your goals for Saturday? I would like to PR and place better than my seed.
- State Championship weekend is always fun. What part are you looking forward to the most? I am looking forward to spending time with Haley and Liz before they graduate. I have ran with them for 3 years now and it’s going to be weird without them so I will savor these last few days with them.
- Describe your emotions as you finished the 800m and realized you had qualified for State: I could not believe that I finally qualified. I have run poorly the past two years at state qualifier so I was very excited to finally make it. I never thought that I would be able to keep the pace that I started at but I remembered the workouts that I had done to prepare me for this moment, and Coach Payne, my family, and my teammates, which helped me keep pushing. When I crossed the finish line I was so excited because I would get to go to state with not only my teammates but also my friends and some of the coolest girls that I’ve met. Also, I may or may not have hugged a random coach because I was so excited.