Name: Allison Pickering
School: Orono High School
What was your most memorable race?
Breaking the 4x1 state record at my last State Championship my senior year.
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
My biggest competition has probably been Rihan Smallwood, or Hannah Stevens. They are both incredible vaulters, and when I compete against them it makes me want to push myself as far as I can. Having competitors who also put in the hard work makes the competitions worthwhile and rewarding.
What was your greatest accomplishment?
Breaking the EMITL pole vault record. I beat my personal record by a foot during that particular meet, which got me over 10'3, setting the new EMITL record.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
I would have worked on my improving my mental strength sooner, because it would have helped me be a better competitor during my freshman and sophomore year.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
One obstacle was a nagging hip injury that prohibited me from doing workouts. I was mainly just able to pole vault, and I had to give up hurdling, which was my favorite event at the time. The hardest part was learning what my body could handle, and being able to tell myself that I wasn't able to do certain things. Another obstacle was handling stress from school and preparing for college, while continuing to put in the time to improve in track. It was very difficult to focus at practice sometimes when there were so many overwhelming stressors from life and school. Being able to separate myself from those stressors was a major obstacle that I had to get over.
What will you miss the most?
The Orono atmosphere. The traditions that only Orono has, like team meetings that last 45 minutes sometimes, because Mr.Libby wants to make sure that we are all prepared for the meet. Also, I will miss my former teammates! They make track enjoyable, and it is great to know I have teammates who will put others before themselves. I will definitely miss that.
What advice you would give to younger athletes?
Do events that make you excited to go to practice everyday. If you are miserable when you train, then maybe you should reassess why you do that event. Pick certain events that are worth practicing, and are worth setting goals for, and go achieve them.
What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
Mr. Libby is a realistic guy in terms of goals. He will make sure you know what you are capable of, and which goals are attainable. He sets us up for success, but if we fail, he teaches us to collect our emotions, and get back to working hard until we reach success.
What are your college plans?
I am going to the University of Southern Maine. I am undeclared, but I want to include culture, social sciences, and hospitality into whichever major I choose. I will be competing for the XC, indoor track, and outdoor track teams. I will continue to pole vault and sprint, and maybe pick up some other events. I plan to take a semester abroad my junior year as well.
Who would you like to say thank you to?
My coaches especially, who have taught me the skills that have helped me succeed. I want to thank my family for sacrificing many things to support me. My parents have taught me how to persevere through difficult times, and have been there to encourage me to do what makes me happy. I also want to thank my best friends for keeping a smile on my face through the last four years.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I think I covered it all!
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