Athlete Feature: Bedford’s Leya Salis

You have the unique experience of competing at a high level in 17043another state (Virginia).  Please describe that experience.

Competing in XC and Track in Virginia for my first 2 years in HS was amazing and I had such great experiences, I would not trade for the world. Although the competition from other teams helped me become the runner I am now, my teammates helped me even more because they were training and competing at the same high level as me. My team was awesome and I am so thankful to have been able to train and learn from them because I would not have been the person and runner I am today without them.

How does Virginia Cross Country compare to New Hampshire Cross Country?

Virginia Cross Country was different since we never actually competed in a full state meet since VA is so big. Our state meet was just divisions (i.e. 5A, 6A) and because of this, it was not as close of a community. With that being said, the competition was a bit stronger for the competive meets.

What is your go-to prerace meal?

Before a race, I have eggs and a bagel with a banana and lots of water and coconut water.

What is your favorite cross training activity?

I like to aqua jog and swim.

How does your coach motivate you?

My coaches give us pep talks that prepare us for upcoming races and make us excited to compete.

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

Probably Paris, Venice or London.

When did you start running?

I started running my freshman year while playing soccer during cross country season to get in shape for soccer. After making states and then winning as a team, I realized the potential I had and love for the sport that I developed.

Do you have a favorite prerace song?

Hmm, not really but I classic I have listened to since freshman year is Remember the Name by Fort Minor.

What motivates you most to do well?

What motivates me is definitely the drive and determination to succeed and accomplish my goals. It’s important to never settle and always strive for more because when you start to doubt yourself and give up, you can lose focus.

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

If I could not fail, I would do absolutely everything.

What is the best advice ever given to you?

Take in every moment because you never know when it is your last. Be thankful that you can run, compete and do what you love because some people would die to be in your shoes. Everyone has different goals so it’s important to not compare yourself and focus on your own personal improvements. Make sure you have fun and enjoy the process!!

What is your favorite quote?

“It will hurt, it will take time. It will require dedication. It will require willpower. You will need to make healthy decisions. It will require sacrifice. You will need to push your body to its max. There will be temptation. But, I promise you, when you reach your goal, it’s worth it.”

How is the college search going?  How would you describe the experience right now?

The college search process has been going well, it is challenging and stressful but I know it will pay off in the end. It’s a long process but I am taking it all in because I feel grateful to have such great opportunities!

What is your favorite thing about Cross Country?

I love the team aspect of cross country and working for the other 6 girls and fighting for eachother. It’s a great feeling to succeed as one.

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

In NH, my favorite course so far is Mine Falls (Nashua South High School).

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

My favorite has to be either the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix or New Balance Nationals.  

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