Catching Up With Amy-Eloise Neale
Heading into her senior cross country season, Amy-Eloise Neale (Sr., Glacier Peak, WA) was considered one of the favorites to challenge for an individual national crown at Nike Cross Nationals. With her regular season over, another state championship won and NXN on the horizon, Neale is still considered one of the very top elite prep runners in the country. Over her high school career, Neale has accomplished so much and with her final post-season of high school cross country racing ahead, she is excited to make one last push to a national title.
We caught up with Neale recently, where she talked about her season so far, her college choice and how she's progressed as a runner over the past four years.
Scott Bush (SB): You've had a great season so far, but you have some big meets still in front of you. How do you feel about your season thus far?
Amy-Eloise Neale (AEN): I have been feeling really strong all season, and I'm excited to see how I do in post-season racing. My training has been going well, and I have been racing extremely consistent times. I have great coaches who I trust I telling me to do the right things, and an awesome team supporting me all the way during my senior year. At the moment, my season couldn't be going better.
SB: There is plenty of competition in Washington with athletes like Katie Knight challenging you fairly regularly. How does competing in a state like Washington raise your running?
AEN: Racing against people like Katie has forced me to grow and develop as a athlete and competitor. We are a big part of each others' high school careers, and we probably wouldn't be where we are today without all the opportunities we have had to race each other. Its also really refreshing when you have good competition after all the lower-key meets, and those races always remind you why you put all the hard work in everyday.
SB: Your high school career has been exceptional to say the least. How has your training changed to make sure you continually improve?
AEN: Last track season, although I was injured a lot, the training I did was focused more on the 800m. I think it really increased my tempo and overall strength, and combined with some really good miles this summer, I think I will be ready to go in my next few races. Overall though, not too much has changed -- my coaches are continuing to put an emphasis on recovery days and I think it is beginning to show in my races.
SB: Last fall you placed fifth at NXN. This year, with runners like Sarah Baxter and Jillian Fanning returning, what are your expectations looking ahead towards the meet?
AEN: NXN is always a really tough meet with a lot of really tough competition. After the past three years of running the meet, I think I have learned to embrace that and calm down a little bit before hand. I know I can only try my best in my workouts leading up to the meet, and give the race itself everything I have. If I leave everything out there on the course I will be happy with my performance.
SB: We know this is a busy time of year with college visits taking place. How is the college decision process unfolding for you personally?
AEN: I actually just verbally committed to University of Washington. It is just a really good fit for me athletically and academically, and I am so excited to be joining such a strong team next year. I couldn't be more proud to be a Husky!
SB: You've been part of a strong team the past few seasons. What's it like to now be a senior on a team that has a chance to achieve very big things? What type of leader do you try to be to your younger teammates?
AEN: Especially as one of the team captains, I love having a great team where I can try my best to be a good role model on and off the track. More than that though, my team has helped me through my tough times as well, and have always been supportive -- especially during my senior year. Of course, we hope to make it to NXN again this year, but whatever happens I couldn't be more proud of how far my team has come in the past 4 years.
Fast Four (four quick questions, four quick responses)
SB: Favorite band?
SB: Car you drive?
AEN: Well...I haven't really had time to take drivers ed yet...I'm too busy running.
SB: Shoes you race in?
AEN: Nike Zoom Victories
SB: Best vacation?
AEN: Visiting my family in England