Athlete Feature: Merrimack’s Bailey Carrillo


When did you start running?

When I was younger, maybe 7 or 8 years old.  I started running local 5Ks because my mom is a runner, but I didn’t really get into running until I was 11 when I joined my first Junior Olympic cross country team, Granite State Flash.

Briefly describe the experience as a member of your team/program.  Give an example of some of the “fun” stuff your team does together.

My experience with my team and my coach is something that I am grateful for. My teammates are so supportive of me and of each other and I am so proud to be part of such a great group of girls. We work so hard together and it makes it so much easier to be out on the course knowing that they’re right there with me. Other than putting in hard work, we like to have a lot of fun, especially during preseason. Our preseason schedule consists of doing something different everyday; we go to the beach, do scavenger hunts, and go out for ice cream together. Although I love when the season starts up and we start racing, I love preseason because I get to do new and exciting things to get closer to my teammates.

How does your coach motivate you?

My coach motivates me by always encouraging me and my teammates to set goals; whether those goals be individual or team goals, they always keep me going to reach them.

What motivates you most to do well?

Doing well for my team is what motivates me. Although in the race it seems like I have to push for myself, in the end it is all for my team. We have made history in the past couple of seasons and have been incredibly successful. I am always proud to be part of this cross country team. That is what keeps me motivated.

What is your favorite workout?

My favorite workout has to be 1000m repeats on the Derryfield course. As painful as they are, they really pay off in the end and help me picture the course when it comes race day.

What is your favorite cross training activity?

My favorite cross training activity has to be hiking. I love the views.

What is your go-to prerace meal?

My go-to prerace meal has always been cream of wheat with a little bit of brown sugar and a banana a little bit later on in the day.

Do you have a favorite prerace song?

I’m always a big fan of Christmas music and my team shares that love with me and we always sing along to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You”; whether it be before or after the race.

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

I’ve always wanted to go to Colorado because the scenery is beautiful and the mountains are perfect for hiking. Not to mention some of my favorite professional runners are from Colorado.

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

If I knew I could not fail, there is not much I can do. Failing, as awful as it is, is super important because it teaches so many lessons and leads to growth. It definitely has in my life; especially running. Not failing would be hard to live with.

What is the best advice ever given to you?

The best advice ever given to me was given to me by my mom. She always tells me to just go for it, because anything can happen in 3 miles, or in track, for 2 laps. She just reminds me that for the time being in a race, anything can happen, and whether you decide to have a good race or a bad race, its your choice.

What is your favorite quote?

My favorite quote is, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right,” by Henry Ford because it applies to the mental aspect of running and how much your mindset affects your race.

What is your favorite thing about Cross Country?

My favorite thing about cross country is the feeling after you finish a race. It’s a true feeling of accomplishment and strength.  I think that’s what cross country is about.

What is your favorite course to run? (High school courses)

My favorite course to run is probably Derryfield, I love the challenge.

What is your favorite race outside of the high school season?

My favorite race outside of high school season is the Sparkler 5K in my town on the Fourth of July because it gets everybody together and benefits my team for the season. I think that’s pretty cool.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years???

In 5 years I hope to see myself still running, if not competitively then just for the love of it, and furthering my education in Neuroscience and Behavior because that it what I plan on studying for a major.

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