Senior Sendoff: Haley Hughes - DAR

Athlete Name: Haley Hughes
School: KDS DAR High School

Most memorable meet: 2017 sectional cross country meet in Huntsville because that was the first time I ever broke our school record in the 5k. Plus I was going to state with a good seed time for the first time ever. I was so happy and it was also the first time our boys were ever going to state as a team. Everyone was so happy and excited!

My biggest competition: I probably always faced my biggest competition at sectionals and state in track and xc. The mile at James Clemons (4A) in track was always pretty tough because the race is already fast enough, but there are also SO many girls that are pretty good at the mile (especially for someone who never saw herself as a mile runner).

High School accomplishment that stands out the most: My biggest high school accomplishment would probably be whenever I got invited to the North vs South Cross Country meet down in Montgomery. It was a big deal for me and was super exciting to be picked to do that out of all of the great runners in North Alabama.

My biggest obstacles throughout my track career: My most challenging obstacle throughout my running career was during my senior year of cross country season. I had a really awful leg pain in my thigh that would hurt any time I practiced or jogged. Luckily it would always go away during my races. 
What will I miss the most: I'll definitely miss all of my teammates. I'll miss all of the funny memes and peanut butter Tuesdays. I'll miss all the long hot summer/freezing cold runs together.& I'll miss my coach and him making us drink chia seeds just before every xc race. 
Advice for the younger athletes: Always practice hard & race hard. Set goals for yourself and then after you achieve it set another one. Also, just relax and enjoy running every race because it's not all about being fastest one out there. Have fun with running!

College plans: In the fall I will be attending Auburn University at Montgomery to pursue a degree in Nursing. I'll also be running cross country and Track & Field there! 

Who I'd like to say thank you to: I want to say thank you to my mom for always being there for me to cheer me on even on bad days & thank you dad for letting me know when I did really bad at a race. Thank you to all of my teammates who have ran and pushed me to be the best running version of myself. Thank you to all the people in my community who have always supported me throughout these years. Thank you to all the girls I've ran with/ against in the last few years who have always been so nice and have made me faster. Lastly, Thank you Coach Keller for being the best running coach I've ever had. You have impacted my life and running career majorly and I'll forever be thankful for that.