We Salute Molly Haymaker, Mill Valley

Name: Molly Haymaker

School: Mill Valley High School

Q: What does your training look like right now given the current situation?

A: My training has kept pretty consistent through all this, but I have had to make adjustments since I don't have a normal training schedule like my teammates. Given that I usually have a cross training day built into my training schedule, I have had to get a little creative with that. Season or no season, I am going to stay motivated to keep my training schedule as similar as possible. 

Q: What are you doing to stay busy other than run right now?

A: Besides running, I have been taking my dog on walks, watching movies and playing games with my family, organizing things, and doing yoga/ab challenges with my sister

Q: What was your most memorable race/moment?

A: My most memorable moment was winning state cross country with my team for the first time. We had all worked so hard for that, and it was really exciting to share something like that with such a great group of people.

Q: What was the funniest thing that happened during your running career?

A: The funniest moment for me was running the 4x400 for the first time my freshman year at KU Relays and falling after getting tripped on the final turn in front of the big crowd. 

Q: Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

A: I think that the St. James girls have all been great competition the past several years. They have an athletic group of girls that have been a good match up for our team. 

Q: What was your greatest accomplishment?

A:  I think breaking our team school record in the 4x800 at State Track and medaling in the 800 my sophomore year was pretty accomplishing. I fell short of what I wanted to accomplish my freshman year, so coming back and doing those things my sophomore year was pretty exciting. 

Q: If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?

A: I would have paid more attention to warning signs of my stress fracture last spring. Losing the end of my junior track season was already difficult as it was, but not having this season makes me wish I could have finished last season even more. 

Q: What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

A: I have battled several injuries throughout my career, but getting a stress fracture my junior track season was definitely that hardest. However, that injury taught me a lot and motivated me to work hard cross training for my senior cross country season.

Q: What will you miss the most?

A: I will miss the fun runs with my teammates, the atmosphere of meets, and being able to race against amazing athletes.

Q: What advice would you give to younger athletes?

A: Cherish and appreciate each practice and race you have. You never know when it will be taken from you, whatever the circumstances, so enjoy what you have. 

Q: What kind of an impact has your coach had on you and your team?

A: Coach McAfee has done so much for myself and my team. I would be no where near the athlete I am today without him. He has helped me develop from a mediocre at best varsity athlete that never broke 21:00 in the 5K my freshman year to running over 2 minutes faster in the 5K, being a part of a team that has one two state championships in cross country, and having several state track medals. I am just one example, of many, that he has helped greatly improve. His coaching has helped me improve both as an athlete, but also as a person. 

Q: What are your college plans?

A: I plan to attend Kansas State University on a Pre-Physician's Assistant track. Although I made the tough decision in the fall to not run at the collegiate level, I will definitely continue to run and compete in other ways. 

Q: Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?

A: There are so many people to thank for my experience throughout high school. Of course, a thanks to God for giving me the ability to run and to meet the amazing people involved in this sport. I also want to thank my teammates who are some of the best friends I could ask for, coaches who have helped me become a better athlete and leader, and parents for their continual support through everything. I also want to thank all my competitors who have pushed me to new limits and allowed me to develop new friendships. 

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

A: Running in high school has been one of the best experiences. While this is not how I hoped it would end, I appreciate every moment I got to experience. To any other seniors out there, just because high school running ended a little early, doesn't mean we have to be done yet. 

Q: Favorite Meal?

A: Alfredo Pasta

Q: If you could be any animal what would you choose? and why?

A: I would be a dolphin because they live in such beautiful places and seem like happy creatures. 

Q: Your favorite superhero?

A: I'm going to be cheesy and say my parents because they really have been my superheroes throughout my life.