“No matter what you are facing in your life, everything disappears, and you focus on the run,” says Savanna Wiman. Like many seniors, Wiman is quickly approaching the finish line of her high school career. “… I knew I wanted to do something [extracurricular] , but I hadn’t played a lot of sports in middle school.” In her freshman year of high school she chose to run cross country, a sport that does not require a lot of previous experience. She has been committed to running ever since, and plans to continue running track and cross country at Vassar College in New York, a liberal arts college that granted her a large academic scholarship.
While running may be something that anyone can start, following through with it can be a difficult task. This spring will mark Wiman’s last season as a runner, after running both cross country and track every year at Arvada West. When Wiman first started she says, “I was terrible”. Ironically, she was still able to find a spot on the girls varsity team her freshman year.
Nevertheless, Wiman has shown tremendous growth in both track and cross country. “I started out really terrible, but I just kept at it. My first year and a half, I feel like I didn’t really try very hard, but then after I broke my hip, I realized that I really missed [running].” It was near the end of a cross country meet when she was running and felt like she could not sprint anymore. A tendon in her leg had pulled out a chunk of her hip bone. This painful injury was a three month setback for her.
In some ways, this tough experience served her well in the long run. Wiman says that it was in these three months that she realized how much she missed running with the team. “Once you lose things you realize how much they mean to you. That was my turning point.”
Following this experience she says, “I started dedicating a lot more time to it [running].” Her diligence has made a huge difference. This past cross country season, Wiman ran a time of about 20 minutes, shaving off six minutes of her best time in her freshman year. She was also able to compete in the state meet with Arvada West girls varsity team.
In the upcoming track season, Wiman will be running in various distance events. She feels that the 800 meter is her best event. Her best time last season was a 2:28, a fast time for girls distance runners. Any time faster than 2:30 for the girls 800 meter is a provisional state qualifying time according to the American Institute of Architects state qualifying standards. The Wiman says, “Workouts are really hard sometimes, but you have to think about it in the long term, that even though you hurt now you’re going to feel better later on.”
Wiman admits that it could be a little bit difficult to manage college, cross country, and track at Vasser next school year. “I think it will be a little bit of an adjustment, but I think school work comes first, and I think my team will understand that and be supportive. I went there [Vasser] and stayed on campus with the team, and they seemed like really cool people.”
Meanwhile, Wiman has been trying to to deal with the itch that many students feel in their senior year. “I have extreme senioritis, especially because I already know where I am going and it is all set.”