Angeli Sivaraman,

Q&A --

Centennial, cross country

September 27, 2006

Centennial senior Angeli Sivaraman, in her fourth year on the varsity, placed seventh at the state championships last year and has been a top-four finisher in the county the previous two seasons. She also is the starting point guard for the Eagles' basketball team and runs outdoor track in the spring. Maintaining a 3.7 grade point average, Sivaraman is likely going to major in biology in college. Bucknell, Villanova and Maryland are among the colleges she is considering.

On a day you just don't feel like training, what do you do to keep yourself motivated to put the miles in?

I always pretend I'm at the state championships, so if I'm ever feeling really low, I'd be like, "Well, if this is the state championship, what would I be doing?" And then it kind of gets me going again.

What is your routine the day before and the day of a big race?

The day before, I try to take it really easy. I definitely eat a lot of pasta - we usually have pasta dinners as a team. And then the day of, I make sure I drink a lot of water. I also have a thing where I try not to talk too much before I run because I don't want to waste any energy. So I'm usually pretty quiet, and I just try to focus a lot before the race.

Can you tell if you're going to have a good day or a bad day?

That's actually kind of interesting. Usually, if I yawn before a race, I have a good day, and if I don't yawn, I don't have as good of a day.

Why do you think that is?

I don't know. One time I did it - this was my sophomore year during the track season - I was yawning nonstop before I was set to run. I was just like, "Why am I so tired? I slept so much last night and was so ready for today." And then I had the best race I ran that season. I was so confused. Now every time I yawn, it makes me feel better. So I feel like I can do it if I yawn.

How important is the mental aspect of running?

It's very important because you have to always be thinking positively about what you're doing. If any negative thoughts come to your mind during a race, basically you've already beaten yourself without anyone else touching you. So you have to always be mentally strong and keep yourself motivated. That's why it's important to have people cheering for you and for your coach to be there for you because you need everything you have to pull you through. If you're mentally strong and mentally prepared, then that's what's going to help you finish.

You led the basketball team in free-throw percentage, shooting 84 percent last season. Why do you think some professional players struggle so much at the foul line?

I think it has a lot to do with focusing because during a game your legs are going to be tired, you're going to be all sweaty and sometimes there's a lot of pressure on your shot if it's a close game. So I think it's just a matter of blocking everything out and remembering your routine.

Glenn Graham

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