Salute to Seniors: Ben Lippen's Emily Letts

Name: Emily Letts
High school: Ben Lippen School
Event PRs: 18:25 in 5K, 11:03 in 3,000, 5:33 in 1,600
Hobbies: Looking up at the stars, taking long walks on the beach, collecting Pokémon cards, going to the weekly Bingo, judging people as they get lit

What was your most memorable race/competition?
I had a lot of great races but to me the most memorable by far was the 2016 SCISA 3A Cross Country Championships where I won State.  It was an amazing experience to come into the race as the underdog and to see my training come into fruition and capture the title.  It was the perfect ending to my high school cross country career and I was so excited to see my team succeed that day as well as my teammates ran extremely well and we placed high as a team.

If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school?
I got better towards the end of my high school career but at the beginning I would get so worked up over races that I wouldn't enjoy the gift that God had given me and would instead be burdened by all the pressure I placed on myself to perform well.  I found peace towards the end of my high school career by knowing that I can trust in my training and that my performance will reflect that as well.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
For me I always tended to overtrain in high school so that led to my body being burnt out for several races and some nagging injuries that escalated my senior year for track when I had to deal with hip and knee issues.  I had to realize the importance of rest and recovery.

What will you miss the most?
All of my high school running friends and the good times we had together competing and having fun on and off the course.  I'm going to especially miss my coach Thomas Fisher and my high school teammates and all of the time spent training and improving together as a team.  

Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
Don't stop the grind.

How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals?
I was so blessed to have been coached by the greatest and most godly coach I could have asked for.  Coach Thomas Fisher led our team with a vision for each of his athletes to succeed not only individually but also for both our girls and boys team to make their marks in SCISA which was greatly achieved.  Coach Fisher not only invested his time and coaching into my running but was also there to pour into my life spiritually and help make me not only a better runner but a better person.  Going into the state cross country meet senior year, Coach took all the pressure off of me by reminding me to run all for God's glory and to run free with it being my last high school cross country race.  Coming across the finish line, I was not only happy for myself but also to see my Coach go crazy and know that all of my hard work had paid off.

What are your college or post high school plans?
I am running for Liberty University this fall where I will be pursuing a major in nursing.