Catching Up with XC Star Laikin Tarlton

CRC: Congrats on qualifying to the state championships.  What's it feel like to earn a spot in the big race?  What's your goal now for this week?
Laikin Tarlton: I feel super pumped about earning a spot at the state meet. It’s been a goal for all of high school, so it’s great to finally achieve it. This weekend I’m focused on running as hard as I can and finishing out my high school cross country career on a pr. 
CRC: You've had a strong season, culminating in a Frontier Athletic Conference individual title and state qualification.  What were your goals heading into this senior season?  How do you feel as you look back on what you've accomplished so far?
LT: Going into this season, my biggest goal was getting to the state meet. I wanted to earn another FAC title and place well at districts. I feel really happy about how my season has gone and reaching my goals. It’s definitely been a good last season. 
CRC: Running for Chillicothe, you're on the southern edge of the district and the region.  When you show up for a meet like regionals, do you feel like you're flying under the radar compared to the runners in the Columbus area who race each other every single week?
LT: I think Chillicothe is definitely under the radar. We don’t have the luxury of racing in highly competitive meets against the teams in our region/district every week. So when we come up for competition season, we aren’t well known and we don’t know the other teams super well. 

CRC: Going back a bit, how did you first get into running?  What has kept you engaged with the sport since those first steps? 

LT: I first got into running in junior high. When I moved to Chillicothe, I was introduced to trail running and that’s when I really fell in love with the sport. Running has had many ups and downs for me, but the ups significantly outweigh the downs. I don’t think anything is more rewarding than the feeling after a good run, workout, or race. 

CRC: You've been a big part of the Myers Running Camp throughout your high school years.  What is it about the camp that brings you back every summer?  What's it like building friendships with runners from throughout the state?
LT: The friendships definitely brought me back every year. I’ve made some of my best friends through Myers Running Camp. One of my best friends in Chillicothe came from camp. I also believe that running with other talented runners pushes me and benefits me in season. 
CRC: What comes next for you?  Are you planning on running in college and beyond, and what are your goals after XC season?  
LT: I plan on being a life long runner and I want to run wherever I end up going to school. Running is definitely a part of who I am and always will be. After XC season, my focus will shift to preparing for track. 
CRC: What piece of advice would you offer to an underclassman who is looking up to runners like you, dreaming of conference titles and state qualification?  What's it take for them to reach those same goals next?

LT: My biggest piece of advice for young runners would be to never give up and always continue to put your full effort into running. You don’t always get immediate results, but it will pay off. I really think hard work is the biggest key to being successful in running. 

Thanks to Laikin for the great interview - and good luck to her and all of the other state meet qualifiers at the big race this weekend!

Take your own training to the next level as you prep for XC 2020.  Join us at one of CRC's two great cross country camps next summer.  Details here.