We Salute Tori Poe, Norwich

Name: Tori Poe

School: Norwich High School

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

A: Unfortunately, our track is locked up. I try to do some light exercise indoors and get out sometimes with friends and family. 

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

A: I've spent a lot of my time applying for scholarships, playing with my dogs, scrolling through TikTok, and playing Minecraft. 

Q: What was your most memorable race/moment?

A: During the 200 prelims at state my freshman year, I was running a great race. However, I pushed too hard and fell a few feet from the finish line. I immediately jumped up and finished(my time was still under 30 seconds somehow!!), but I was devastated. I could have made finals and earned a medal, but instead I had gotten last. The next year, I was the 200 meter state champion. The fall really motivated me, and I love telling the story of how I went from last to first and watching the fall on YouTube! I still have the scars from it. 

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

A: The 2018 regional meet at Montezuma was wild and memorable, and the whole situation was kind of humorous. During one of the many lightning delays, some teammates and I sat in a van and exchanged jokes with the South Haven van next to us. The meet itself was also just funny-I remember running the 400 at around 11:00 p.m. and it felt so strange. Overall, it was such a fun meet, and we didn't get home until almost 3:00 in the morning!

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

A: We didn't get to compete against each other very often, but I always enjoyed when I got to run against Jamya O'Quinn of Moundridge. She pushed me to do better. 

Q: What was your greatest accomplishment?

A: Being a state champion and earning 6 state medals are the most obvious ones, but my favorite accomplishments are my school records. Last year I broke the long jump record that belonged to my sister, and my sophomore year I beat the 200 record by 0.5 seconds. I was very close to beating the records in the 100 and 400, something I was hoping to do this season. 

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

A: I have done the same four events at every track meet since 7th grade. As much as I love my sprints and long jump, it would have been fun and interesting to try other events. I wish I had tried high jump, hurdles, or maybe even the 800. I could've been great at something else without knowing it! I also wish I had had the opportunity to be included in a relay, particularly the 4x400. I love watching the 4x400, and I think it'd be so much more fun than the open 400.

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

A: Weather and sickness are constant obstacles. There are definitely days where you don't feel the best or it's cold and windy, but you have to go out and do your best anyway. I feel that almost every meet last season had bad weather.

Q: What will you miss the most?

A: I love the atmosphere of track meets. It is so fun to spend time with your team at camp and socialize with people from other schools. The state meet is particularly amazing. I loved competing in front of such a large crowd, and I know I'll miss it dearly. Also, I love the sense of accomplishment track offers, but I know I won't have to miss that since my track career isn't over yet! 

Q: What advice would you give to younger athletes?

A: Get in the weight room! Lifting helps you so much more than you may realize and can seriously improve your performances. I would not have had the success I did without it. 

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

A: My coach pushes us to do our best and doesn't give up on anyone. While some schools allow their athletes to choose their events, coach Hall sometimes makes my teammates do more than they would like or something they don't enjoy. It's good for them. He does what is best for the team. 

Q: What are your college plans?

A: I plan to attend Fort Hays State University where I will major in accounting and be a member of the track and field team.

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

A: I have a great community support system. I have already received loads of messages offering words of comfort and encouragement in this difficult time. Several people have told me that I'm the first person they thought of when they heard the news about track. Thank you to everyone who has been thinking of me and praying for me. Thank you to those who supported and believed in me. Thank you to my coaches for pushing me and making me better. Thank you to my teammates for both the fun times and the many hours of hard work spent together. Finally, thank you to my family for supporting me without fail. Hot or cold, rain or shine, they'd be there supporting me. I could always count on my parents to yell times at me during the 400. 

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

A: Although I am heartbroken about the loss of this season, I understand it needed to be canceled. No sport is more important than someone's safety. Having the season could have jeopardized the health of so many stubborn grandparents and put many more people at risk.

Q: Favorite Meal?

A: Spaghetti :)

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

A: I would want to be a Golden Retriever. They are just so happy, caring, and sweet! 

Q: Your favorite superhero?

A: Ant-man and Starlord. I love Paul Rudd and Chris Pratt!