Putting Her Best Foot Forward: An Interview with Claudia, Athlete and ISB Student
Interview with Claudia, Grade 11
Claudia is a passionate and talented athlete, repeatedly competing in top competitions, including the Swiss National Championships. Here we discuss how she developed a passion for the sport, life goals and how she juggles it all whilst also studying at ISB.
How long have you been doing athletics and when did it become a passion?
I started athletics in elementary school when I lived in the US. I joined a small group called "Girls on the Run" and mainly ran long distances. In middle school, I joined both track and field, and cross country teams and got to travel to local meets and competitions. When I arrived in Switzerland, I began to compete for both with the school teams and in a club (Old Boys Basel and now LC Therwil) outside of school. So, it has been about seven or eight years since I started running. I think it started to become a passion when I started middle school and started competing and training a lot. I still remember my first race "The Pumpkin Run"; I really had to battle to get third place.
How often do you compete? What are you up to now?
Currently, I train four to five times a week and I compete about every two weeks. I usually compete in the 400 meters and 800 meters. Right now, there are competitions to give athletes the opportunity to qualify for nationals. At this point, I have qualified for the 400m Nationals. Fingers crossed, I will qualify in the 800m soon.
Can you tell us about your recent sporting successes/competitions?
Last September I competed in the Swiss National Championships and placed ninth in the country for my age group in the 400m and in the top fifteen for the 800m. This season, I’ve had a hard start and trying to recover from anemia and some injuries. In a recent regional competition I placed third in both the 400m and 800m.
What do you like best about the sport?
I really like that running gives me a break from school and other activities. It's great to clear my mind and to disconnect a bit from school. I also like the team atmosphere of training, but I really like the competitions. It's a great way to see what you've got in you.
How do you juggle the demands of school and your sporting endeavors?
I try to focus and get things done for school, and then spend time training or participating in other activities outside of school. With Covid, I have missed time with my friends. Sometimes, it seems like only school and training and it would be nice to have a bit more free time. It was hard to manage at first, but over time I've gotten the hang of it and tried to be more efficient when I work. I have definitely learned about managing my time with the IB
Do you have any life goals for your sport?
I hope to continue to compete and improve my times. This is a long journey and I will probably be my fastest in my mid-20s, so now it is time to work hard and have fun. The results will come with time.
Thank you to Claudia for taking the time to talk with us. We hope to see you at the Olympics one day!