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On the sidelines with Centennial junior track athlete Ella Magallan

Apr. 3—Get to know Centennial junior track and field athlete Ella Magallan on and off the track.

What made you first want to start competing in track and field and talk about your drive behind being great?

"I have always loved sports and been extremely competitive. Before cross country and track I played soccer, basketball and volleyball. Running was not my original sport but my dad did cross country and long distance track in high school. He mentioned running to me and in seventh grade I made the cross country and track teams that year. I realized running was something that really interested me and I was pretty successful from the start. I just felt like I could run for a long time and not get tired."

You've already broken several school records this season. How much do accomplishments like this motivate you to push even harder than before?

"After a great freshman season where I qualified for State in both cross country and the 3200m for track, my sophomore season was kind of a slump for me. I qualified for State in cross country again but my times were stuck in the 19's and then I was barely getting to 5:30 in the 1600m for track. I wasn't progressing the way I hoped and my disappointment last season motivated me to come back faster this year. This track season, I set the school record for the 800m, 3200m and 1600m and then broke the last two again. I was also finally able to reach my personal goal to break 11 minutes in the 3200m and run 5:00 for the 1600m which has been a huge confidence boost and made me want to finish the season strong."

What are some goals you have for yourself for the remainder of track season and how confident are you that you can achieve these goals?

"My three main goals are to get close to 10:30 in the 3200m, break five minutes in the 1600m and run 2:15 in the 800m. I would also like to win some District and Area championships, and my loftiest goal is to qualify for State in all three events. I know I can accomplish that in the 3200m and 1600m if I run my best, but the 800m might be a little harder. It's a shorter, faster race than I'm used to, but I'm willing to work for it. I know that I have potential to accomplish even more this season if I'm confident in myself and my running abilities."

When you aren't taking laps around the track, how do you like spending your free time?

"When I'm not running I'm usually working on homework, hanging out with my friends or my boyfriend, or working on my self improvement journal — it's a journal I made to reflect on my races and practices, so if I have a bad day I don't make the same mistakes again and not let it get to my head so I can run better.

If you were tasked with making your dream "cheat meal" during track season, what kind of items would be part of this meal?

"If I made my dream cheat meal it would be a marshmallow candy dip, and I would include Reese's Pieces, marshmallows, milk chocolate, sprinkles, chocolate syrup, and I would use graham crackers to dip in it. If you know me, then you know that I have a huge sweet tooth. I love candy and basically anything that has sugar. Eating healthier this year has been worth it but I do miss the sweet snacks I used to eat."

If you could either race against or train with any professional track athlete in the world, who would you choose, would you compete or train and why?

"To be honest, I don't have any professionals that come to mind, but I would want to train with the college runner Parker Valby from the University of Florida. She recently won the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship and I've listened to her interviews where she talks about how she got better each year of high school and her work ethic is just amazing. If I raced her, I would try and compete but she would definitely win by a lot. I would just use that as motivation to work harder so that eventually I will be able to run at that level."