When Nicole Traitses sets her mind to something, awesome results usually follow.
The Plymouth High School junior is both an accomplished long-distance runner -- with a trip to the 2008 Division 1 state meet to prove it -- and an outstanding student, who has earned a stellar 4.0 grade-point average her first two years of high school.
Traitses took a few minutes before a practice last week to speak with PlymouthCantonSports.com's Ed Wright.
ED WRIGHT: When did you start running competitively?
NICOLE TRAITSES: I ran track in middle school when I was in seventh grade, and I ran track and cross country in
grade. I played soccer until high school, but gave it up to concentrate
EW: What's the best part about running for you?
NT: It has to be when I'm done with a race or after a really hard workout, and there's a feeling of accomplishment. It's just a really good feeling.
EW: What's the toughest part of long-distance running?
NT: Getting through the wall when you're really tired. You have nothing left and you have to find the energy that you have stored up through training.
EW: How much of your success is due to technique and how much is it due to conditioning?
NT: You have to have good technique and run with with your form, but success is mostly due to how hard you train.
EW: If you stop running for an extended time -- like say a week or two -- does it take a while to get back in the groove?
NT: I think it does, but it's different for everybody.
EW: What's the longest break you take from running during the course of the year?
NT: Probably about two weeks once the cross-country season ends.
EW: How many miles to you run in a typical week?
NT: Probably about 35.
EW: What do you think about when you're running?
NT: If it's a long, slower-paced run, I usually run with my friends and we talk. On the longer, harder-paced runs, I think about anything that gets me through the pain. (smile)
EW: What is your No. 1 goal this season?
NT: I'd like to break my personal-best record of 19:32 that I set my freshman year.
In addition to running cross country, Traitses competes for Plymouth's track team. Last year she ran the 3,200-meter run, 1,600, 3,200 relay and 1,600 relay for the Wildcats.