Cougar of the Month: Calli Parlier

Most high school students are not able to accomplish so much in athletics and academics, but Calli Parlier is not your average student. Not only does Calli excel on the track and cross country course, but she displays great character which makes her an incredible part of Apex High School. We asked her a few questions about her experiences from Nike Cross Nationals. Congratulations Calli on being our Cougar of the Month!

1. How did you make it to NXN in the first place? What things did you have to do to prepare for such a competitive race? Walk us through your race.

To make it to Nike Nationals you have to qualify by placing top five for individuals in your regional meet. I ran in the Nike Southeast Regional meet and placed 8th, but fortunately I was able to move into the top 5 because three girls that finished ahead of me qualified with their teams. The regional race was incredibly fast, and I was just focused on staying with the top pack of runners at the highest place I could.

2. What was it like being in such a highly coveted race at NXN?  What were some of the highlights from your experience in Portland.

It was an incredible experience to be with so many athletes that were so competitive and loved cross country as much as I do. Most of the days before the race were spent meeting pro athletes and touring the Nike Headquarters, which was super cool. The race on Saturday was an incredible environment and was just an overall fun experience.

3. How did you react when you found out you earned a spot to nationals?

I found out the night after the southeast regional meet by a phone call from Coach Cooper, because I didn’t know which teams qualified yet. I was super excited of course, and I didn’t even believe him at first when he told me.

4. What was it like moving to Apex your sophomore year and joining the XC team here?

At first I was a little worried to change high schools, but everyone here at Apex and on the team was so nice and inviting, which made the transition very smooth for me.

5. What are some goals you have set for the future in running and overall?

For this upcoming track season my main focus is breaking five minutes in the mile and 2:15 in the 800 meters, which I’ve had as a goal for a while. And in college I’d like to keep dropping time as much as possible, and hopefully run under 17 minutes in the 5k and then keep improving in track as well.

6. What do you think has contributed most to your success in running?

All my natural ability has come from God, but I’ve put a lot of hard work into running. Being successful in whatever you do does not happen overnight and just with talent. But in order to be in my best shape I have to make many sacrifices, such as running everyday and always eating well to keep my body fit.

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