Photo by RiverCat Photography
Athlete Name: Becca Billman
School: American Christian Academy
What was your most memorable meet and why?
I think my most memorable meet was when I ran at Florida State on their cross country course as a ninth grader. The meet was the FSU Pre-state Invitational and it was memorable for me because it was the first time I raced with very elite competition. Also the air conditioning system on the bus we took broke and we rode all the way home in 90 degree weather with no air conditioner.
Where did you face your biggest competition?
The biggest competition I probably ever faced was when we ran at the Valkyrie Invitational in Kentucky this past cross country season. I ran the elite race with some of the best girls in the southeast, which was scary but really fun.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most and why?
My Junior year I broke 19 minutes in the 5k during the Jesse Owens classic in Moulton, Alabama. It was probably one of the best races I have ever run at this point in my life. I remember feeling no pain the entire run and crossing the finish line not understanding that I had finally broken a goal I had had for a long time. I still think about how great it felt to run as well as I did that day.
If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your running career in high school?
I would run a lot more doubles to increase my mileage.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome during your HS Track career?
Truthfully, track itself was a huge obstacle for me to overcome . I always personally felt that I was built for the long stuff (3200, 5k, etc) and the foot speed a lot of really amazing track athletes have didn't come naturally to me. I only have about 2 full years of track experience as well so I never felt the same sense of confidence going into track races that I did going into cross country ones. Until this year, I think my biggest struggle was just loving both track and cross country equally and giving my all in every race, no matter if it's track or cross country season.
What will you miss the most?
Without a doubt I will miss my team the most, especially my running group. I know that sounds a little cliche but many people in my group were seniors as well so I won't really see them much after this summer.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
Try not to focus so much on yourself, especially during hard workouts, races, events etc. Everybody hurts and is most likely hurting during those times; complaining about your pain only makes everyone else's worse.
What are your post-highschool or college plans?
I will be attending the University of Alabama and will be running track and cross country collegiately. I also hope to pursue the pre-med academic career track while in college.
Who would you like to say thank you to?
I'd like to say thank you to all the people who have coached me and supported me throughout the six years that I have been running. I have been greatly influenced by so many people over the years and to name every single one of them would be like writing an essay, but one person I would like name is my dad. Honestly, without him I never would have had the drive to become as successful as I've become. So thanks Dad for every hard working you've pushed me through and for every hours you've devoted to me and ACA. It means a lot to me and a lot of other people.