Salute To Seniors: Taylor Wiley - Evansville Central
What was your most memorable race?
The open 800 I ran at Central Stadium during Regionals this year. I ran my personal best of 2:10 and it felt like I was flying on the track. It was nice to have that kind of "final farewell" to my home stadium.
Who was your biggest competition?
Myself, and the clock. I have to be mentally prepared for each race to run my best. I can overcome a minor injury, soreness, or other aches and pains if I'm in the right frame of mind. Visualization was one of the biggest factors of my running this year.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments which stands out the most?
Consistently lowering my times all four years. Most female athletes struggle with lowering their times consistently because of changing bodies and I was very fortunate to be able to continue pushing myself like I did.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
The level of competition I competed at throughout the season leading up to state. I could have achieved a lot more or at least have been better prepared to face northern schools if I had competed with those runners on a weekly basis. Even a few meets up north would have been better than none.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
It goes along with the last question, and that would be having to compete against myself all year and then go up to state and suddenly have someone right in my footsteps (or ahead of me!). I was lucky enough to have someone push me this year at regionals and that resulted in me running the best time in my high school career.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss running at Central Stadium. All of our big meets (besides state) were run at my high school's track. I was there to see us get a new turf field and a new track laid down. There was no greater feeling than coming around the last turn, hearing people cheering, and looking up at the scoreboard to see what time I was at. The atmosphere was one that could get my heart racing in an instant and I know I have a lot of people that supported me all season, even those that weren't involved with my high school. It felt great.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
Don't always take for granted cliched sayings because what has rang most true for me is "Hard Work Will Pay Off." And it absolutely has. If you have the drive and the passion for whatever sport you do, if you take the time to get in the gym and build your strength, if you get your grades, and most importantly stay away from people that will bring you down (even if it means being lonely sometimes), then you have the key ingredients for being successful.
What are your college plans?
I will run on scholarship for Indiana University. I plan to go Pre-Med and also minor or major in Spanish.
Who would you like to say thank you to?
GOD, for the strength and talent I've been given. My parents and family, especially my dad, for getting me involved in sports and ALWAYS being there to yell for me (or at me!) Coach Coffman, Coach Owen, Mr. Neidig, Coach Kane, and all of the people who took the time to help me in school. Dr. Adams, Art and Dixie Christmas…for being the BEST family friends and mentors.