This week's Athlete of the Week is Auburn High senior Gracie Booher, who runs cross-country for the Tigers.
Auburn Villager: How did you get your start running cross-country?
Gracie Booher: I started running in seventh grade just because I thought it would be fun, and I really just grew to love it over the years.
AV: What do you love about it?
GB: I love the team aspect and how it really brings everyone together. And I love being able to push myself and see the rewards that come with hard work.
AV: What are the biggest challenges that come with running such long distances?
GB: Definitely the mental strength that it takes to push through when you're mind is telling you to stop — just to push through that and realize in the end it's going to make you better.
AV: How do you mentally prepare for a race?
GB: I just do a lot of running before it. That's all you can really do – just practice a lot and just realize your race and performing well in your race.
AV: Do you have any strategy you use when approaching the race?
GB: It's usually just start out fast and hold onto that as long as you can, run with people you know you can stay with and push yourself.
AV: Do you have any role models or anyone who showed you the ropes?
GB: Definitely, some upperclassmen that have graduated now really pushed me and helped realize that I am good at this and that I can be good at it and do better, that really encouraged me to pursue further running opportunities and be the best that I can.
AV: How do you think the season is going so far?
GB: It's been really awesome so far. I've been dealing with some injuries, but just minor things and I'm getting back at it, so I should be able to finish strong.
AV: Do you play any other sports?
GB: I run track as well. Just running.
AV: Do you have any hobbies outside of sports that you like doing?
GB: I love hanging out with my friends. We all like to dance and just hang. All my friends are also runners, so we spend a lot of time together.
AV: As a senior, do you have any idea what you want to do yet after you graduate?
GB: It's my dream to go to Samford and run there and study maybe Kinesiology, so we'll see where that goes.
Interview by Brian Woodham