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Cross Country 1999

Foot Locker West

Interview with Valerie Flores

by Doug Speck

Valerie Flores biggest come-through effort on Girls side at FL West
Regional - below answers some questions put to her a day or two 
after he special run that made the plane to Florida---!


Hi, I'm really excited about Nationals! I'm really looking
forward to it. Here are the answers to your questions.

1) What were your thoughts going into this past weekend's Foot
Locker Western Regional competition? 

I was very disappointed with my race at State. I came
down with a cold and there wasn't much I could do about it but
move on and look on to the next race: Regionals! I was thankful
that state wasn't my last race and that I still another
opportunity to compete. I was surprised how nobody thought I had
a chance to be among the top eight because of the talent level
this year and one bad race at State. I thank God that I had
another chance to compete with so much talent! 

2) Describe what you had gone through in the California State
Meet a week previous off of your record performance in the LA
City Section Meet? 

I think it was the hardest race I ever ran. There was
so much I wanted to do there, that when it came time, there was
nothing I could do. Mentally and physically it was hard, I was
ill and and at the same time disappointed because I knew what I
could have done at that race. Yet, I don't think I would trade
it for the race at Regionals, Saturday completely made up for

3) What was your strategy for the Foot Locker Western Regional? 

My strategy was exactly the same as the strategy I used at
the Mt. SAC invite. I had posted a good place and time in the
sweepstakes race, and my coach figured the time from the Invite
should put me in the hunt of all the other girls. I was to run
the first mile relaxed anywhere from 20-30 the first mile. I
then had to push it up the switchbacks and use the downhills to
my advantage! My home course is very hilly, so I think I had a
hill advantage. I pushed hard the rest of the course and tried
to pass as many girls as I possibly could. I think my coaches
strategy worked out great!

4) Describe how the race developed for you at Mt. SAC this past

I pretty much ran identical to my race plan. Up poop
out hill I felt very strong, I was behind Siraki and Barrientos
at that point and I passed Barrientos on the back side of
Resevoir hill. Coming up the hill I passed Bei and fought off
the down hill with Siraki. I passed Siraki on the airstrip and
just kept running. Once on the track, I knew I was going to
qualify ( I counted the girls ahead of me) I was so happy!

5) Did you know what place you were in late in the race, and how
did you feel the last half mile or so? 

I knew in the last mile that I was top eight. I was just
working hard to keep my place and get as many girls as I possibly
could. I think after reservoir I knew that I was in top six and
in contention. I didn't know my exact spot until I passed
Siraki. I gave it all I had at the end of the race and I was
very happy! I ran the best race of my life I think, but I feel
sorry for other's who weren't able to do the same. I really feel
bad for Sara Bei, I think she really deserved to go.

6) Any thoughts on going to Florida? 

I'm so excited!! It's an experience of a lifetime and I'm
sure it's going to be awesome! I don't have any high
expectations for myself, but I'm just going to go out and give
it all I have like I did at Regionals. I want to represent
California, I mean the West, well!

Thank you Doug
See you on the course!

Valerie Flores

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