Marissa Sheva of Pennridge has been one of the runners of the season. After an undefeated regular season, the senior added league and District 1 glory to her trophy case along with the 2nd fastest 5000 meter time in the state. Her 4th place finish at states made it three top 6 finishes in four years. Her 7th place finish at Foot Locker Northeast advanced her to the Foot Locker Finals on Saturday. Sheva reflected on her special achievement with PennTrack!
How was your training following the state meet?
My training went so well after the state meet. I’ve run some of my best and favorite workouts leading up to regionals and nationals!
Did you alter your preparations for this year’s Foot Locker regional meet compared to years past?
This is the first year that I really trained for Footlocker. Something has happened every other year, whether it was a minor injury, illness, or just the decision to shut down before indoor. I have a lot of respect for all of the other athletes that are extending their seasons this long because it’s proving to be very mentally and physically tiring.
What were your thoughts on the course? Is it a course you are a fan of?
I loved Van Cortlandt’s course! The first time that I saw it was race day morning (with the exception of a few YouTube videos) so I was a little nervous about that. I don’t think it quite compares to Hershey difficulty wise, but it was especially tough in the second mile.
What was the strategy heading into the race? What did you need to do in order to be successful?
I didn’t have a strategy other than make it to San Diego. I knew that I wanted to go out with the top group through the mile, respond to their surges in the middle mile and finish strong. I think I accomplished two of the three.
Was this the best race you have run all season? Why did it go so well?
I do not think that this was my best race of the season. After the excitement of realizing I was going to San Diego, I thought about the race and realized that I kind of shut down the last half mile. I was in 3rd with probably 900m to go and fell back quite a bit, which isn’t like me.
What does it mean to qualify for the Foot Locker finals for the first time?
It is so exciting! The whole experience is going to be awesome. I’m pumped that I’m ending my high school cross country career at Footlocker finals.
Did your race schedule and the quality of competition in those meets allow you to be at your best at Foot Locker Northeast?
Definitely. PA is running so fast right now, especially on the girls’ side, so I think that racing the best girls in PA this season prepared me to race the best girls in the region. It’s pretty awesome that we’re sending 4 girls to the finals.
What are you most looking forward to about the trip to San Diego?
It will definitely be nice to get away from the cold northeast weather, but I’m really looking forward to be in a race with so many high caliber runners.
With this being your first time going, what have you heard about the meet from others that have competed at the Foot Locker Finals?
Everyone who I have talked to loved the experience! They seem to like the course a lot too, which is comforting.
My first goal is to run fast and enjoy my last high school XC race. My big goal is to be All-American which I think is very possible.