We Salute Arie' Auna Childress, Lawrence Free State

Name: Arie' Auna Childress
School: Lawrence Free State

Q: What does your training look like right now given the current situation?
A: I'm still working out a lot at home, and doing a lot of running to stay in shape.

Q: What are you doing to stay busy other than run right now?
A: Spending time with my family and making tons of tik toks.

 Q: What was your most memorable race/moment?
A: My most memorable moment was at KU relays when I had jumped 40'9". I just remember looking at coach after I had jumped to see if I needed to move my mark, and then hearing a bunch of screaming. I had no idea what everyone was cheering about til I turned around and saw what they had saw. I couldn't believe it. I started to cry walk back to go sit down and as I was walking back, I remember a lot of the girls running up to me and hugging me.

Q: What was the funniest thing that happened during your running career?
A: The funniest moment was also at KU relays but it my freshman year when I ran the 4x400 relay for the first time. I had just finished jumping and decided to go back to the tent to eat and take a nap. I remember one of the coaches coming in the tent and telling me how one of the girls in the relay was hurt so I had to take her place. I was totally cool with it, except I was tired, and stuffed. I'm not sure what lane we were in but I was the second runner and had no idea what a "cut in" meant, so there was a lot of upperclassmen yelling at me to cut in and I remember yelling back at them that I had no idea what that was.. then they yelled back "JUST GET INTO LANE ONE" and I started laughing and took off. I'm pretty sure at was my fastest 400 time I've ever ran in high school.

Q: Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
A: I would say Jaleesa McWashington of Olathe Northwest even though she graduated last year. She was is incredible hurdler and jumper. She has long legs, and brought nothing but speed, power and confidence to every meet. I feel she had motivated me the most because I wanted to be as great as she was, especially in long jump.

Q: What was your greatest accomplishment?
A: My greatest accomplishment was breaking the 40' barrier in triple jump.

Q: If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
A: Junior year at the state meet, I wish the weather was a bit nicer to everyone and I was able to get a 38' board to jump from. I was hoping to break the meet record that day.

Q: What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
A: The most difficult obstacles were the injuries I've gotten because triple jumping is a really technical event. To overcome, I had to obviously make sure I was healthy first, then work on each phase to make sure they were executed in the proper way to  reduce the injuries.

Q: What will you miss the most?
A: I'll miss bonding with my teammates the most. Especially during big meets like KU relays and State.

Q: What advice would you give to younger athletes?
A: Make sure you sure you're taking care of business in the academic spectrum aswell as athletics, because you're a part time athlete and a full time student.

Q: What kind of an impact has your coach had on you and your team?
A: The two coaches I have been working with past few years have made a huge impact on me. Since they have both not only coached me but have been my AVID teachers, they have helped me tremendously on and off the track when it came to college. Thank you Coach Romito, and Leitel.

Q: What are your college plans?
A: I will be attending Pittsburg State University to continue my track and field career. I'm undecided on my major.

Q: Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?
A: All of my coaches from middle school track, high school track and AAU. Thank you for pushing me to become not only a better athlete but young adult. I would also like to say thank you to my family and friends including my teammates, for all the love and support.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
A: no

Q: Favorite Meal?
A: Spaghetti & meatballs with Fish and a side of salad.

Q: If you could be any animal what would you choose? and why?
A: I would chose to be a Lion, because not only do they have the best hair... they are street smart, great team players, and lions spend 20 hours sleeping every day! If that isn't my spirit animal, then I don't know what is.

Q: Your favorite superhero?
A: The Black Panther