Athlete Interview - Kayla Ferron of Redondo Union
If you’ve been following the big track and field meets in California this spring, you know the name “Redondo” is synonymous with relay dominance. The Redondo Union girls have been particularly successful, winning three invitational relay events at the famed Arcadia Invitational alone – The 4x800, Sprint Medley Relay, and Distance Medley Relay. In each of those winning efforts, senior Kayla Ferron played a key role.
Kayla is also a standout on the cross country team, running with Seahawks state qualifying team all four years. But Kayla is a force individually as well. She currently holds the #3 800 mark (2:12.67) and #7 Mile mark (4:55.97) in California. I caught up with Kayla after the Bay League Finals, where she won the 1600 and moved on in the 800 and the 4x400 relay. Her next stop will be the CIF Division 2 Prelims at Moorpark High School this Saturday.
Scott Joerger (SJ): Congratulations on a great season so far. How do you feel about where you are at this point in the season?
Kayla Ferron (KF): Thanks so much!!! Right now I feel mentally and physically ready for the rest of the season. I've been training very hard for the past couple weeks and I feel like the hard work I’ve been putting in has started to pay off. Since i've never been to state for track before I'm just looking forward to the rest of the season and being optimistic. I'm very excited to see what happens!
SJ: What is a typical training week like for you at this point in the season? What amount of mileage are you doing?
KF: Right now we are running from 60 to 40 miles a week, depending if we are running races that weekend. On Mondays and Wednesdays we have our hard workouts. Usually the first one is longer, strength based and the second is fast, rhythm based. The rest of the week is easy mileage with some Plyos and strength exercises.
SJ: What sports did you participate in growing up, and how did that lead you to track and cross country?
KF: When I was younger I played softball and soccer but I never really found out about running until my mom had me meet with Coach Bob about joining the team. I wasn't too thrilled about it at first but it may have been the best decision of my life.
SJ: When did you realize you could be successful at this sport?
KF: I realized that I could be successful when I ran my first cross country race. It was Great Cow in Cerritos and it was a frosh/soph race. Although I had been training all summer I didn't think I was very good. Once the race went off I had a confidence in myself that I could potentially get top ten. I ended up getting third overall. Ever since then I have raced on the varsity team. It's so strange how natural it came to me.
SJ: Who has had the most influence your running career and why?
KF: My coach Bob Leetch has had the most influence on my running career. Bob has always believed in me throughout my four years, and his dedication to me and the team is what I admire most about him. He has always pushed me to become a better competitor and a better athlete. Without him and his wife, Kirsten, I would have never been able to experience what it is like to compete on a national level.
SJ: Congratulations on choosing the University of Arizona. What was it about U of A that attracted you?
KF: Thank you! I loved University of Arizona because of the whole program and the team. The program at Arizona is like the program here at Redondo so it's not to big of a change in my training. I also really liked the coaches. I connected really well with Coach Mo and Coach Li and the rest of the team. I also really liked the campus and Tucson. Its not too far away from home but it's far enough!
SJ: Redondo Union has been particularly dominant this spring in the distance relays. What has working as a relay team this spring meant to you?
KF: Being on the relays means a lot to me because it brings a little bit of team action into an individual sport. These girls on my relay teams are some of my best friends and it's awesome being able to run with them by my side for the same goal instead of against them.
SJ: You are a top 800 runner in track, but you have been a leader on one of the dominant cross country teams in the state as well. What is your favorite season and why?
KF: My favorite season would probably cross country just because I love having a team rather than just running by myself. The girls on my team pull me through my workouts and races and I don't know what I would do without them. We have such a strong bond when we are all running together as a team. We do have the same bond for track but its not the same feeling.
SJ: What are your goals for the remainder of the season?
KF: My goals are just to focus and make it through to state for the first year in either the mile or the 800 and possibly even the 4x400. We are also going to try to run at New Balance Nationals and if we go there we would like to win either the 4x800 or the DMR.
SJ: What do you like to do outside of track & cross country?
KF: I sing in my school's choir. I've always loved theatre and musicals and before I started running, I had a lot of time to focus on that. I also love going to the beach and just relaxing.
- Nickname: My nickname is Combustion. Our coach gives the top 10 girls and boys black hawk jackets, and each jacket has a nickname on it. I've had Combustion all four years I've been on varsity for Redondo.
- Performance you are most proud of: Probably the Azusa Pacific Meet of Champions Dream Mile!!
- Last thing you read: The Olympian by Brian Glanville
- Favorite subject in school: History
- What you'd like to study in college: I'm going in undeclared!
- Favorite food: PASTA!!!!!
- Favorite movie: Forrest Gump
- Pet peeve: When people crack their knuckles.