Today, we salute Victoria Anyiam! The Cardinal O'Hara graduate finished up a strong career for O'Hara competing in the 100 meter dash and 100 meter hurdles.
Anyiam reflected on her career for PennTrackXC below.
What was your most memorable race/competition?
My most memorable competition was the PCL (Philadelphia Catholic League) Championships where my team for girls won. I honestly didn't even expect us to have PCLS because of COVID so us making it to that point and winning was a really great experience, especially me getting to take a picture with the plaque which I've always wanted to do like the other sports teams I've seen in the league and at my school.
Where did you face your biggest competition?
I would say I faced my biggest competition at a PCL meet that was held at Father Judge for 100m hurdles. I got 3rd for the meet but the two girls who beat me were really good, I was taken off guard because we almost started the same time but they just blew past me. While I didn't beat them, it put me in competitive mode and I was determined to catch up to them which I feel is what helped me get third overall.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?
I think hitting my personal best for the 100m sprints def stands out the most. It felt really good because I didn't have an outdoor season for last year but still got involved in virtual meets over the summer. Being able to hit that especially before recruiting time came up felt really good and is always a good reminder to me of what I'm capable of.
If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school?
I would have tried more events. While senior year my coach put me in the 300m hurdles, I wanted to stick to the 100m sprint and hurdles. Before I didn't even want to do hurdles, just the sprint but I fell in love with hurdling my senior year. I realize now that I could have involved myself in more events not just because I now have the urge to try to do big things in them but also for the experience. One of the reasons I love track is because it's a very versatile sport that gives you a lot of opportunity to shine in any area and I'm glad I got to realize that more my senior year.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
I would say my mental game. My senior season came with a lot of disappointments. The way I performed in some meets especially in the 100m sprint wasn't me. It started to make me feel insecure and less confident in myself especially towards the end of the season. I had to constantly tell myself whenever I didn't perform well "these performances don't define me" which was hard at times but I feel like it really got me through the mental challenges along with seeing my senior season as a learning experience. I know what I need to do during off-season to be ready for indoor and outdoor season next year.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss all the before practice meetups and times I got to spend with my friends on the team. A lot of people who were on the team either last year or throughout my high school years didn't come back. It was really being able to spend time with both my friends who stayed on the team and ones who decided to join this year and I cherish all our memories together.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
Mindset is everything. Do the physical work but take care of yourself mentally. Your mind is what's going to keep you going and lead you to success. Be bold with your goals and try new things but also have days for yourself, allow yourself to be human, and allow your emotions when needed. And don't let fear control you. Do what you feel is comfortable for you and don't be afraid of being different, wanting different, or doing different things from your peers.
How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals overall?
The assistant coaches really taught me new stuff. My favorite coach is Coach Bobby who is the sprints/hurdles coach for my school. He would always crack jokes but he was also honest. He was also big about mindset and always motivated me to test out my capabilities. It was really nice having a coach who cares about mindset as well and inspired me more to be bold and try new things even with things I probably would never try in my life. His tips for me to implement both in practice, meets, and outside of practice helped me with my performances as well as I was able to drop almost 2 seconds total in the 100m hurdles from 3 meets.
What are your post-high school plans?
I am committed to run for Penn State and will be continuing my education there as a biology major. I will be starting my first two years at Brandywine Campus and then will head to University Park. I look forward to this new journey and I'm super excited to go to Penn State.
A big shout out to God for getting me so far not just in my track and field career but in life in general. I am a completely different person than I was a year ago and I'm just really thankful for him continuing to guide me and grow me and look forward to getting even more growth from him.