Amanda Thornberry (Valley Christian, San Jose) - Top Distance Runner Talks!!

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Amanda Thornberry (Valley Christian, San Jose) - Top Distance Runner Talks!!

Robert Attical picture of Amanda Thornberry at National Scholastic Indoor Championships

Quickly developing into one of the nation's top prep distance runners in San Jose area star Amanda Thornberry. After a strong 4:54.20 for a full mile in the National Scholastic Indoor Champs in New York City a couple of weekends back, she started her outdoor season with an impressive 10:49.2 3200 in a low-key local affair, one of California's best ever dual meet eight lap clockings!!

Amanda took time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions for us, with a discussion of the background to her development, with the always valuable advice to those new to our sport.

Best of Luck Amanda - should be a super spring!! - Doug Speck - DyeStatCal

1) Great racing lately, why the big improvement already during the winter indoor and early spring outdoor season (4:54 mile and 10:49 2 mile)?
[Amanda Thornberry] Thanks! Based on my trainning and the things I have learned, It was time to move up. My goal at the beginning of the year to run under 5:00

2) Describe the New York National Scholastic Indoor Mile race and the atmosphere that surrounded that fine meet a week ago?
[Amanda Thornberry] Nationals was a great experience. The newly remodled armory was great and there was a lot of loud and excited spectators
I entered New York with a race plan centered around the National Scolastic Record. Unfortunatly the race did not go exactly how I had planned. The start of the race was bad, the official was just finishing his instructions when we heard the "set and the gun". I was boxed in on the first two laps and was not able to take it out at the pace that I had planned . At the 400 mark I had finally a set myself in a good lead position and felt strong. Basically just running hard, the rest of the lead pack was right behind me. My sense was to let someone else take the lead, and looking back now I see that this would have been wise move sense I was already off pace. By the time it came down to my last 400, the other girls made the first move, and the race ended shortly after. I ran to go with them but ran out of board.

3) How fast did you think you could run the dual meet when you ran 10:49? Describe how the race went pace-wise and how you felt?
[Amanda Thornberry] I had come into the meet planning to run 10:48. My coach had figured the splits and I knew I was capable of running those times. I was excited, I had not run a 2 mile for a while and I looked foward to going under 11.00

4) Has attending a smaller school been an advantage or disadvantage for you as an athlete?
[Amanda Thornberry] I don't think that attending a smaller school has been a disadvantage for me. But I know that I can not speak for everyone when I say this. I think what can be the biggest advantage or disadvantage is who your coach is and the reason you run.

5) What other sports were you involved in while you were growing up?
[Amanda Thornberry] I was involved in almost every sport. Especially Junior High. My year would go from volleyball to basketball, to volleyball again and finally ended with track. When I first entered High School I played Volleyball ( my favorite at the time) and Basketball and Track. Eventually I stoped playing volleyball to run cross country and basketball to start and early season of track. Now I run track all year round and love it.

6) Do you have brothers and sisters involved in sports, or were you parents involved with any sports while they were growing up?
[Amanda Thornberry] Yes, I do have one sister. She is 14 and she is a freshman at Valley. She is very good at Volleyball and even went out for track this year.

7) What areas of your runnnig are you especially working on as you head into your senior track season?
[Amanda Thornberry] As always I am continuing to work on my power and speed around the track. My coach tells me that esentially am a long sprinter. So that is how I train. Also I believe I am continuing to grow in confidence and would like to make more strategic moves in big races.

8) Briefly describe your favorite workout for track?
[Amanda Thornberry] My favorite workout in track beside being in the weight room, is running speed intervals like 300s, 200s, and 100s.

9) What is your least favorite workout for track? [Amanda Thornberry] My least favorite workout in track is long runs.

10) What advice would you have for a high schooler who has just started on a distance running career? [Amanda Thornberry] My advice is to understand what are your strengths and weekness, that way you can run based off your strength and improve on your weekness, Set goals: It is important to know where you are going so you can plan on how to get there, and finally find a good coach, this is one of the most important things for having a good high school career. They can help you anaylaze your strengths and weekness and can also help you make the right goals.
[Amanda Thornberry] In know that having a good coach has been the best and one of the most influential strengths in my Career as a distance runner, my coaches are truly one of God's biggest blessings in my life.

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