This is the inaugural edition of my "Athlete Spotlight", in which I will interview athletes that I have trained, trained with, or have just come across in my career.
I have interviewed Amanda Kaverman, a senior sprinter from the University of Toledo, for the first of the series. Her accomplishments can be seen in detail HERE. I have had the pleasure to train with Amanda and she is easily one of the most determined athletes I have ever seen train. When given advice on training technique, she pays close attention and puts her pride aside to better herself, as should any athlete of her level. Her hard work in training has definitely shown on the track. ENJOY!
DB: What are your biggest achievements to date?
AK: Some of my biggest achievements to date are earning a full scholarship for college after walking onto the UT track team and being the MAC conference champion indoor and outdoor in the 200m dash. Also, having school records in the 100m and 300m top my list as well as having one of the Top 50 200m indoor times in the country. Making regionals is also an accomplishment I am proud of.
DB: Favorite event?
AK: My favorite event is the 300m dash even though it is not a conference event. My favorite conference event would have to be the 200m dash because it's not as long as the 400m but not as short as the 100m. You may think, "Duh, that is logical since it is in-between" but to me it's the simplest way I can explain it. Since it is not as long as 400m, I do not have time to think and sometimes over-think which parts of my body are becoming sore or tired. Being longer than 200m helps me because I am mainly a strength runner, my strength helps me pull past other girls who may get tired around 150m or so. This quality also helps me run the curves efficiently, which are my favorite part of the track.
DB: Favorite activity outside of track?
AK: Outside of track I love to weight-lift. If I am in a terrible or great mood, I usually find myself wanting to head to the gym and throw some weights around. Non-athletic wise I love to paint, draw or read. During the summer I'll read upwards of 20 books or so. My life is so exciting haha.
DB: Favorite lift in the gym?
AK: My favorite lift shifts between squats and deadlifts. At the moment deadlifts are my pick because I'm correcting my form. There is also something satisfying about dropping the weight after succesfully lifting it that squats don't't have.
DB: Most inspiring moment in your athletic career?
AK: Hmmm that's a tough one. Winning my first MAC title would have to be it. I remember being so nervous that whole weekend, even after running in the final race. People told me I won and I just could not believe it. I felt uneasy, shy even standing on the podium getting my medal. Afterward, I went up to the stands where my mom was sitting, I gave her a hug and just began crying. It proved to me that my hard work pays off, that moment let me know I could contend with some of the best in college athletics and left me hungry for more.
DB: What do you do to get psyched up for a meet?
AK: I get extremely nervous before my events so I listen to techno or reggaeton music to displace my nervous energy by distracting myself with singing, sometimes dancing, during my warm-up laps. I listen to the same play list every time I do warm-up drills because it helps focus my energy and gets me excited to run.
DB: Your greatest strength (in running AND training)?
AK: My greatest strength in running would be my ability to not slow down as much as other people on the curves, if at all. Training, deadlifts would be number one.
DB: Your greatest weakness (in running AND training)?
AK: My greatest weakness, which I am overcoming, is that my head will sometimes get in the way. It's not that I can't do what I am attempting but that I'll get bored and put more focus on what is 'tired or sore' and not want to complete what I am doing. This was my old method, it's not fun and won't get you anywhere.
DB: What is the next step in your athletic career?
AK: This is my last year of competing collegiately. I would love to keep training after I graduate and compete at a few meets and just see what I can do. I'm already in pretty good shape so why let it go to waste? Also, people are implanting the idea of Olympic lifting so I may give that a try too.
There you have it! Amanda has quite an inspiring story and many accomplishments to prove she has worked hard over the years. I have no doubt she will continue to work just as hard after she has completed her collegiate athletic career.
Stay tuned for my next edition of Athlete Spotlight! Train hard, train smart!