(Ashlyn Minton competing at the 2019 IHSAA Cross Country State Championships)
Photo by Kent Graham
Ashlyn Minton is a senior at Fort Wayne Carroll High School. She helped lead Fort Wayne Carroll to a state title at the 2019 IHSAA Cross Country State Championships and a 2nd place finish at the 2020 IHSAA Cross Country State Championships with a 14th place individual finish. We were able to catch up with Ashlyn to talk about her high school career, the college recruiting process and much more! Many thanks to Ashlyn for chatting with us!
MileSplit Indiana: Let's start from the beginning Ashlyn. When did you first start running, and do you have a favorite childhood running memory?
Ashlyn Minton: I started running when I was in kindergarten. I remember my dad taking me to the YMCA and I would run a few laps because I thought it was fun. However, one of my favorite childhood running memories is when the kids on my street would hold mini races and we would race around the cul-de-sac.
MileSplit Indiana: At what point in your career did you realize you'd be able to compete at the level you're at now? Was there a certain workout/performance that showed what you were really capable of?
Ashlyn Minton: That would probably have to be when I took that last all-state spot at state my junior year. I think that really gave me a lot of confidence going into my senior season, because I was able to get a taste of what I could accomplish the next year.
MileSplit Indiana: Running isn't always glorious, so tell us some setbacks you've had over your career and what you did to overcome them.
Ashlyn Minton: I've been pretty lucky for the most part. I never really had any injuries, so I'd say my only setback was missing part of my season this year due to being quarantined. I was able to overcome this by working hard and continuing what I was doing before, during my quarantine. I was able to come right back and the whole situation gave me more motivation for the rest of the season that I was fortunate to be able to compete in.
MileSplit Indiana: Let's talk about your high school career. Take us through your 4 years of competitive high school running. What were some notable performances/meets?
Ashlyn Minton: My freshman year was a really cool experience for me. I got to run a few varsity meets during the regular season and then I was able to run 3 out of the 4 post season meets which was something I had never even thought I would have the opportunity to do as a freshman. My sophomore year was the first year that I got a chance to run the state meet, and I came in 5th for our team, which I was very proud of. My junior year was the year I was able to capture the last all-state spot, which was super exciting for me as a junior because I had no idea I was capable of that! This years post-season was especially successful I placed third at sectional, runner-up at regional, seventh at semi-state, and I got my second all-state finish at state in 14th place.
MileSplit Indiana: As most know, Fort Wayne Carroll has had great success over the last several years. What was the team bond like and what do you think led to the success of the program?
Ashlyn Minton: I think a major part of what led to the success of the program is the coaching. The coaches work us very hard and give us workouts that are designed to help us with different aspects of running whether is working on foot speed or hills or doing long runs. We also go over the course and break it down into pieces so that we can focus on the individual points of the race and that's something that I've found to be really helpful.
MileSplit Indiana: You had a great senior XC campaign, capping it off with a 14th place finish at the IHSAA Cross Country State Championships and a 5th place finish at the XC Town USA Meet of Champions Presented by the Garrett Companies. What were some takeaways from your last high school cross country season?
Ashlyn Minton: I would say a big take away from my senior season is taking the adversity and uncertainty that I faced during this season and using it to my advantage when it really counted. Taking that anger and strong emotion and being able to channel it into my running proved to be very beneficial to me this season.
MileSplit Indiana: Let's shift over to more recent news. You recently committed to Butler University. What was the recruiting process like during a pandemic? What set Butler apart from any other school?
Ashlyn Minton: Of course, the recruiting process looked a bit different this year with not being able to do official visits and everything, but I was still able to talk to the team via Zoom and get some of their opinions about the school and the program. When I was looking at Butler something that stood out to me was the environment. I really liked the school environment and the team environment. I felt like that was a place I could really see myself at and be happy there, which is huge. Another thing that set Butler apart was the fact that the coaches did a good job of keeping in contact during the beginning of the COVID shutdown.
MileSplit Indiana: With indoor/outdoor track season approaching, what are some goals you have for your last season as a high school athlete?
Ashlyn Minton: I'm not quite sure how much of the season that we will actually be able to have but I am looking forward to making the most of what we are able to have. One of my goals is to increase my turnover and foot speed which will also carry into cross country next year. I would like to concentrate on the 3200 as that was primarily what I wanted to focus on last year before the season was cancelled.
MileSplit Indiana: Enough about running, what are some things you like to enjoy when not running?
Ashlyn Minton: When I'm not running, I love to write. For me that's a good way to express myself and it's something I really enjoy doing. Another thing I really enjoy doing is watching 1980s movies and listening to music, that always puts me in a really good mood, and is an outlet for me. I am trying to teach myself the guitar as well. Unfortunately I've been a bit busy, but I plan on trying again this summer.
MileSplit Indiana: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Ashlyn Minton: Honestly, I would be completely happy eating only Filet Mignons for the rest of my life, although I may change my mind after a few days.
MileSplit Indiana: Any final comments? Shout-outs?
Ashlyn Minton: I am so glad to have been able to run at Carroll High School and to have been a part of the cross country program. I am very fortunate to have been a part of two state championships and two state runners up in my four years. There were a lot of good memories and opportunities that were presented to me through running and it also taught me a lot of lessons that I can apply to my daily life that I am very grateful for and that have made me a better person.