Parker Ables of Heber Springs XC Senior Sendoff

Parker Ables

What was your most memorable meet and why?

    Probably my most memorable meet was my first. In 7th grade I decided to run cross country with some friends and I had no idea what it was. I practiced some in the summer and then showed up for the first meet thinking it was going to be like 20 people... it turned out to be about 300. The gun went off and I was in the middle of the pack. At the end I thought I was in like 30th place, but I turned out to get 4th and first on my team. I was just hyped to have something I was actually good at, haha.

Where did you face your biggest competition?

    I faced my biggest competition this year. I have terrible race anxiety which affects my running at times, however, this year was tougher than others due to it being my last. At the Russellville meet, this year, I was very anxious before the race. About halfway through, I was in 8th place and my time was way behind what I wanted it to be; I was ready to walk off I was so upset. But, at the 2 mile mark, I just picked up the pace a tad and ended up coming back to win with a decent time.

Out of all of your high school accomplishments which stands out the most and why?

    The accomplishment that stands out the most is probably winning state three years in a row. I had to overcome many midseason injuries throughout the past few years, but was still able to show up at State and win. It is more of the overcoming than the wins that meant the most though.

If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?

    Honestly, I would probably change how I approached training. I run fairly low milage and don't get in the weight room that much, so I know if I trained right I could have been much faster. However, on the bright side, I have much room to improve going into collegic level cross country.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

    Definitely the most difficult obstacles where injury and anxiety. In the 10th grade I tore my ACL, which set back much of my training, and then, in the 11th grade, I got compartments syndrome in both of my shins which required surgery. Getting back into running after these two things was just difficult and often times discouraging. On top of this there have been times where the anxiety over a particular race, big or small, has been bad enough to make me want to quit running all together.

What will you miss the most?

    I will miss the carefree training days post-season and sharing team victories with my coach and teammates. I know that there won't be many laid back training days ahead, but I do anticipate many team victories at Oklahoma Baptist University.

Do you have any advice for younger athletes?

    My advice to younger athletes is that what you put into training you will get out in a race. Train like your racing, then and there, because how hard you work then is how good you will run later.

What are your post-high school or college plans?

    I signed early with Oklahoma Baptist University and plan to go there to run and major in theology. I am looking forward to spending the next four years there making memories and seeing what God has in store for the rest of my life.

Who would you like to say thank you to?

    I would most definitely say thank you to Coach Cresswell and Coach Goldman, as well as, my parents for pushing me, believing in me, and doing everything they can to get me to where I am now.