Ava McIntosh: Female Athlete of the Week

Ava McIntosh won the Large School Girls race at the 12th Annual Pepsi XC Challenge in 18:35. Afterwards we caught up with her and talked about her race and her running career.

Tell me a little about the race. We all saw the kick at the end of the race passing Lawrence County's Savannah Williams but share what unfolded on the course.

In the beginning of the race, it was Savannah and I leading in the front and we worked off of each other for a good bit. Katie Mae (also from Lawrence County) was also running closely behind us. Savannah started to put a bit of a gap on me as we went into the second mile marker and then as we got closer to the third mile, I knew I had enough left in the tank to kick it in the last ten meters.

Did you wait until the last ten meters for fear that Savannah may counter your kick?

No, when I'm feeling strong in a race and I am approaching the finish line I try to pick up my pace the best I can.

Was there any plan entering the race?

There wasn't an individual plan for me, but as a team we wanted to win by having our girls move up some positions.

How do you as a senior and a leader on the team help the 3-5 runners?

I encourage them to work hard everyday and make sure to stay on top of the little things like nutrition, sleep, recovery, etc. I also talk one on one with them on workouts so we can continuously get better as a group.

What's one of your most memorable running moments to this point in your career?

I would say Indoor State my sophomore year when our 4x800m team won. I remember stepping off the track and we all group hugged including Coach Borden. It was such a big accomplishment.

Speaking of Coach Borden, what does it mean to have a coach like him who is so invested in helping you reach your max potential?

It means everything to me. He has been so supportive and so encouraging throughout my entire running career. I couldn't ask for a better coach. He is a very big asset to my life.

Where are you looking to run next year?

I'm looking to run at either Alabama or Auburn next year. Those are definitely my top two at the moment. I'm still looking at some out of state options too.

What would you consider a big source of your inspiration? Maybe a phrase, person, etc. Something that helps on those hard days.

I would consider my parents or Coach Borden a huge inspiration on my life. They have always supported me throughout recruitment opportunities, training, school, etc. A phrase that Coach Borden says is "Trust the Process" which means trust your training and yourself. I really like that phrase.

What's your go-to pre-race routine?

The night before the race I usually go to the team dinners or eat with teammates in order to bond before the races. Pasta, bread, chicken are usually things I eat for dinner. In the morning I usually eat a bagel or a granola bar before the race. Being able to talk and have fun with my team is something I love.

What's your favorite shoe to train in?

Nike Pegasus!

Who is your celebrity crush?

Cooper Teare.

If you could vacation anywhere in the world where would it be?

Italy or Bora Bora.

What's the hardest workout you've ever done?

Probably repeat 400s.

What would be your preferred superpower?

My preferred superpower would be flying so I could get places quickly.

Last question, are you breaking 5:00 on the track this year?

Yes! I definitely want to break 5:00 this year!

Ava will continue to keep her momentum rolling this weekend at the Chickasaw Trails Invitational and the following weekend at the Southern Showcase.