Alivia Cleveland Striving for Top 3 at S.C. CC Championships

Scrunners talks with Alivia Cleveland of Fort Mill about the first part of the season and what goals she has to finish out the season. Cleveland is currently ranked 11th in South Carolina.

What does it mean to be ranked ninth (at time of interview, currently 11th) in the state?
Being ranked ninth in the state means a lot to me and lots of training and hard work goes into being where I am today.

What excites you the most when it comes to running?
I love the competitive aspect of running and I also love spending time with my teammates at practices.

What goals are you striving to accomplish this season?
My goal is to place top three in state this year.

Do you plan on running all through out high school? 
Yes, I have a strong love for running and my goal is to keep trying and improving through out the duration of high school.

What does it mean to be eight seconds away from a sub 18?
It is crazy that I am only eight seconds away from a sub 18. It means a lot to me and I would have never thought I would be this far when I started a few years ago.

What makes you keep pushing throughout the race?
The feeling of happiness and fulfillment after a race is what keeps me going. Whenever I have a good race I always feel proud and I know that if I give up I will be letting myself down.

What kind of course do you prefer?
Although flat courses are easier and fun to run on I prefer hilly ones because I am better at running up hills and it always gives me an advantage.

How do you feel about the rest of the season after SCTCCCA Bob Jenkins Coaches Classic?
I feel pretty confident in the rest of the season after running at Coaches Classic.

How did your Coaches Classic race unfold?
Coaches Classic definitely went in a different way then I expected. I was leading the race up until the last home stretch up the hill. This has taught me a lesson to never underestimate the people around you and to never give up before finishing. Overall it was a good race and every runner did fantastic. (Watch the race here).

What is your preferred race strategy?
My preferred race strategy is to get a good start so that you don't get trapped in a big crowd of people. After this I find a comfortable pace and stick with it. When going up and down hills I push myself harder and change my strides.

Who do you look up to?
I look up to my coaches and every racer that pushes me to be my best in a race.

What activities do you enjoy doing outside of running?
Outside of running I am a very social person and I like to hang out with friends and I usually find ways to be active whether its walking, biking, or swimming.