Welcome to Salute To Seniors, where we honor graduating PA track and field/cross country seniors!
Today, we salute Lizzy Close of Somerset Area. Close was two-time PIAA District 6 champion in the 100-meter hurdles and a one-time champ in the 300-meter hurdles. She closed out her prep career with PRs of 15.26 in the 100-meter hurdles and 46.36 in the 300-meter hurdles.
She answered some questions reflecting on her career below.
What was your most memorable race/competition?
I would definitely say LHAC meet during my junior season. I broke the two hurdle school records again and claimed a title I have always wanted.
Where did you face your biggest competition?
I saw most of the tougher competition during indoor track and at outdoor states. It's always an honor to run against the bigger names in the states. They really push me to be better and faster.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?
It's the little things that touched me the most. I won outstanding runner at the Giant Eagle Invite in Bedford. It was a state wide meet but it was an award I had wanted since my freshman year. It was such an honor to finally reach that goal.
If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school?
I would focus more on 400 instead of the shorter races and maybe a field event or two. I definitely liked my event and I'll be running them for four more years.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
I didn't have the senior season I wanted. The weather made us have almost every practice inside and I never got a full workout in because of our meet being cancelled and then rescheduled so close to each other. The negative mentality that came with all those obstacles was hard to overcome but I had to push through to show my mental strength and that I could handle any obstacle.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss training with my dad. He was a huge part of my hurdle career. He would research drills online and help me prepare for each meet. Not having him during college meets will be hard.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
Remember to love what you do. Sure winning is fun, but if you don't love to run you'll burn yourself out.
How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals overall?
They have helped so much. They kept me strong mentally and physically. They understood each aspect of my training and really pushed me to be the best athlete I could be.
What are your post-high school plans?
I will be attending Wheeling Jesuit University to study under the Pre-Law program. I will also be continuing my Athletic career there and running on their indoor and outdoor track team.
I absolutely want to thank my parents. I also want to thank my coaches: Dave, Justin, Wally,& Mr. Minnick.