Thursday's Conversation With Wyoming's Holly Page
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Welcome to Thursday’s Conversation. Each week, one Mountain West student-athlete will be featured by answering a series of questions.
Joining the conversation this week is Wyoming’s Holly Page. A senior on the Cowgirls’ cross country team, Page earned an at-large bid into Saturday’s 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championship in Terra Haute, Indiana, with her sixth-place finish at the 2014 NCAA Mountain Regional Championship last week in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Page is the just the sixth Wyoming female runner to qualify for nationals, and first since 2007.
In addition to her sixth-place finish at regionals, Page put together a record-setting race at the 2014 Mountain West Cross Country Championships in Fresno, California, as her third-place finish was the best-ever by a Wyoming women’s runner at the Conference meet. The 2011 MW Freshman of the Year, Page is a three-time first-team All-MW and two-time All-Region honoree.
The women’s 6K race at the 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships is scheduled for a 12 p.m. ET start on Saturday, Nov. 22. You can watch a live broadcast of the race at www.ncaa.com.
Question: You’re just a couple of days away from competing at the 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terra Haute, Indiana. How are you feeling entering the race?
Answer: I’m feeling good. We’ve had a couple of workouts this week and I’m tapering right now to get ready for Saturday. Overall, I feel ready to go.
Q: When you found out you had qualified for nationals, what was that feeling like?
A: It was surreal. Qualifying for nationals has been a goal of mine since I was a freshman. I almost qualified last year, so to make it my senior year is a great feeling. I’m very excited to compete against the best runners in the country.
Q: Do you have a specific goal in mind for nationals?
A: I’ve been thinking about that. It’s my last race and I just want to do what I’ve been doing all season and put it all out there on the course. I don’t want to be timid because it’s my first time at nationals and I don’t have the experience that some of the other competitors have. I want to run my race.
Q: You’ve put together a stellar senior season, one that has seen you consistently finish in the top-10. What’s enabled you to finish in that lead pack every time you compete?
A: I think the biggest thing for me is the girls I’ve trained with this season have really pushed me like never before. That’s crucial because in the past, I usually just ran on my own. All of the girls that run in our top-five (Kerry White, Ali Walker, Megan Brunette and Audra DeStefano) have been right there with me every day the past three months and it’s been a great experience.
Q: You’re majoring in elementary education. What is it about working with young kids that excites you?
A: They have an energy about them that’s awesome to be around. They’re also possess a positive attitude. I really enjoyed babysitting as a kid and knew that working with kids was something that I wanted to do. I’m student-teaching right now and I love it.
Q: Not only are you excelling in cross country, but also the classroom, as evident by your being named to the MW Academic All-Conference team three consecutive years. How have been able to balance athletics and academics?
A: When you want to be a competitive athlete and keep up with school work, you don’t have time for much else, so you learn that you have to make some sacrifices in other phases of your life and make your school work and your sport a priority. Time management is definitely a big part of it as well.
Q: You were born and raised in Florida. Have you adjusted to the climate change in Wyoming yet?
A: It took me about six months to a year to figure out how to dress properly, but I’ve got the hang of it now. I’ve really grown to like it more and more out here and it’s been a very positive adjustment for me.
Do you have a student-athlete you’d like to see featured in an upcoming Thursday's Conversation? Contact Dan Johnson at djohnson@TheMW.com