Salute to Seniors: Alayna Blier (Gardiner HS)

When and how did you get into track and field?

The summer after 6th grade, when my cousin started coaching summer track.

Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

Anna Reny in the 200m dash last year.

What was your greatest accomplishment?

Breaking two school records at states last year (in the 100m and 200m dash), as well as being state champion in both events!

How has track and field impacted your life?

Oh god, there are so many ways. It gave me something to strive for at my worst moments, a home away from home, a family of coaches and teammates, and it gave me my future. Nothing has impacted my life more that track.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

I had a rough season this past year due to health problems. We don't have an indoor season and while I was in my off season I had a pretty bad case of covid, and immediately following, a concussion. So going back into the spring season I definitely hadn't trained as much as I had hoped, and my lungs proved to be quite a problem. This was crushing physically and mentally (especially after the climax of my junior season). With the help of inhalers and training I was able to get back to a decent state by championships, but it was a disappointing senior season to say the least.

How do you prepare for competitions?

A light protein-filled breakfast of either eggs or greek yogurt, lots of rock music, and lots of warm ups.

What influence has your coach had on your high school career?

Coach Jen Boudreau has been my head track coach for the past 4 years. No matter what we have been through, whether it be the pandemic, personal obstacles, or anything at all, she is one of the most optimistic people I've ever met. As someone who is REALLY hard on myself, she is just who I needed- someone to ground me and put everything into perspective. Her unconditional love for her team creates a fun, uplifting environment at practices and meets. 100% coming back to visit her and the team during college.

Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of track and field?

Outside of track I'm actually a very artistically inclined person! I'm obsessed with a lot of older music, and the fashion that coincides. I also play my guitar pretty much every day. And when I'm in the mood, I can be great at drawing and painting!

What are your college plans?

I am officially a student at Colby College! I am a track and field recruit, so I will continue my favorite sport for another four years (woohoo!!!). As of right now I plan to major in Psychology with a concentration in Neuroscience.

What are your long term goals?

After college I want to go into diagnosis and/or research of neurological disorders. I want to get married and travel the world with my partner. And maybe have a family... As for track and field, I know that I will never live a life without at least a good morning jog, and therefore, one of my goals is to never get out of the habit of running.

Who would you like to say thank you to?

A bit cliche, but I owe everything to my parents. I was certainly a difficult child to raise in a lot of ways, but they excelled at making me who I am. They offered support and love no matter what. And the little things that they do for me speak the loudest: the countless rides to and from extracurriculars, never missing the hugs hello and goodbye, the "I'm proud of you even when I wasn't proud of myself. I love you guys so much.

What advice you would give to younger athletes?

You get what you put into things. If you want to excel, you put your energy into your sport and you don't stop until you start seeing the results you want. Granted, you should always listen to your body first, so if your body does not have the energy, you rest, fuel up, and get back at it. But our lives are in our control. If you want something, go for it, and go for it hard. But make sure you're having fun with it. Having fun is the most important thing.