On the road: Alisha Royal returning for Taco Bell Classic

Ex-West Florence distance star Alisha Royal talks with scrunners.com about coming to the Taco Bell Classic. Royal is now a senior at William Byrd (Va.) High School. She is entered in Saturday's girls 800-meter run. Royal moved from South Carolina in August 2006.

scrunners: Being a senior, what is going to be like to come back to S.C. this weekend?
royal: It is going to be crazy ha! I would never believe that one that I would move to Virginia but to be able to come back to S.C. to run in one of my favorite meets is awesome! Ha, I can remember coming to the Taco Bell meet in six grade telling my dad that "m going to be down there racing and i was so excited ha.

scrunners: What events are you competing in?
royal: I'm running in the 800.

scrunners: What do you want to achieve in the 800?
royal: I hope to run somewhere in the 2:10 to 2:20 range.

scrunners: When are you leaving for the meet and who is coming with you?
royal: I'm leaving Saturday morning, and two of my teammates are coming down with me. They are running in the guys 800 and then my dad is coming and another coach.

scrunners: Have you told anyone from your high school that are you coming?
royal: Yeah! Ha, I'm really excited.

scrunners: Are you expecting any special visitors?
royal: It is my first weekend of my spring break so my friend Alaina Novak  is coming up to the meet and the I'm spending part of the week with her in Florence. She's been my best friend since sixth grade, so it will be great to see her. As well as my former teammates!!!!

scrunners: Tell us about your season, what is left after this meet?
royal: This is still the start of my season, it is my third meet of the season.

scrunners: Being the start of the season and almost near the end in this state, do you prefer the three seasons in Virginia to two in S.C.?
royal: I definitely love running indoor track!! Ha, it is so different and exciting, and it definitely changes things up, but it is still fun.

scrunners: In the future, where are you going for college and do you planning on running? How has this searching been for you?
royal: I looking to run at either Longwood University or University of South Carolina. Looking at colleges has been a different experience. I have had to consider a lot of different things. It has been overwhelming at times, but still exciting!!

scrunners: What do you miss about S.C.?
royal: I miss my friends and the beach! Haha, but I love being in Virginia. It is soo beautiful here!!! The mountains are so pretty.

scrunners: How is competition for you this season and compared to the past in both S.C. and Va.?
royal: The competition this season has definitely picked up! But, I would just like to thank my coaches for believing in me and helping me reach my goals!! And I would like to thank my teammates for being there for me! They all have be amazing and wonderful and I'm so thankful for all my coaches and teammates.

Photo courtesy of milestat.com, a MileSplit.us affiliate.

Editor's note: More Taco Bell Classic pre-meet coverage coming this week.