Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself. (Where you’re from, what you’re doing now…etc)
A: My name is Ava Dinger and I am from Wall, SD. I graduated high school in May and will be attending Black Hills State University. I will be majoring in exercise science and participating on the track team. This summer I spent most of my time working to save up money for college.
Q: How long have you been running and how did you get started?
A: I have always loved to be active and involved in any sport I can. I started running track in 6th grade. I started out as a distance runner, but I soon became a sprinter.
Q: Do you prefer roads or trails?
A: I have never really ran on trails before, so I am only used to running on roads. Although, I think I would prefer to run on trails over roads if I had the choice.
Q: What is your favorite distance or race?
A: My favorite race is the 200. I am not the fastest out of blocks, so I prefer the extra distance to build up my speed more which is harder to do in the 100. I also really enjoy running the curve at the beginning of the 200. My favorite event is triple jump. I love how there is so much strategy in the form and several ways to improve on it.
Q: How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?
A: When I don’t want to run I think about how much it will pay off in the future. I tell myself if I run today it will be easier tomorrow. Sometimes I will listen to a motivational podcast right before I run to give me a little extra boost to run.
Q: If I didn’t run I’d ………..
A: If I didn’t run I’d play basketball. Basketball is actually my favorite sport and I have played since I was in fourth grade. It’s crazy that I will never play on a team competitively again, but I am hoping I will still get some shots up in my freetime at college.
Q: What is your favorite running memory?
A: My favorite running memory is when my high school 4×1 and 4×2 relay team broke the school record. It had always been a goal of mine to break a school record so to actually do it was really awesome.
Q: What’s the most valuable lesson you have learned from running?
A: The most valuable lesson I have learned from running is that everyone has their bad days, race, or jump. When these things happen the only thing you can do is forget about it and move on to the next one. My junior year I was ranked fourth in triple jump going into state, but I scratched all of my jumps and didn’t even make it to finals. At that point I wanted to just give up and not finish the rest of my events, but instead of letting it hold me back I used it as motivation. In long jump I was ranked 24th and ended up jumping my best jumps to get seventh place!
Q: What are your running goals for the future?
A: My main running goal for the future is to place at the conference meet, but ultimately I just want to get stronger and faster to increase my personal records.
Q: Who inspires you most?
A: My biggest inspiration is honestly my little sister. Although she is two years younger than me she always pushes me the most to be my best. It is probably because she is one of my biggest competitors and I hate losing to her. She is always motivating me to get in the gym, go on a run, etc. She has always been a great athlete at such a young age and has accomplished so much.
Q: What advice do you have for new runners?
A: My advice for new runners is that everyone is different. Running faster and being stronger will sometimes come naturally for others while you might have to work harder at it. Just because things may come easier for others does not mean they are better than you and you should give up. Instead put in the work and you will achieve your goals. Never give up!