Featured Athlete of the Week: Ariel Higgins, Cross Country, South Putnam High School
Ariel Higgins, 17, is an active junior at South Putnam High School. She is a member of the cheerleading, basketball, track and cross country teams. Along with junior Madison Egold, Higgins will compete in the cross country Carmel Semi-State this Saturday. Her extracurricular activities include National Honor Society, Interact Club, Spanish Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Future Farmers of America. She has one brother and one sister, Hunter and Whitney, and a stepsister, Haley. Higgins enjoys country music, especially Taylor Swift, and her favorite TV shows are Pretty Little Liars, C.S.I. and anything involving mystery. Her favorite classes are English, Spanish and P.E.
Banner Graphic: When did you start running?
Ariel Higgins: I started running cross country my sixth-grade year.
BG: Were you expecting to make it this far in cross country?
AH: After we made it to regionals, my coach did not tell me that I had the chance of making it to semi-state, so I just thought I was going for the experience. On the day of regionals he told me I had a pretty good shot, so I had to get myself mentally prepared. I just had to go with what I had. I've worked really hard this season.
BG: Do you like doing distance more, like in cross country, or sprints and hurdles like in track?
AH: I like hurdles better. I'm a better sprinter and hurdles are fun. I'm better at them, so it's exhilarating when I win. I'm a fast sprinter and sprinting comes more naturally to me.
BG: What is your training like?
AH: I practice six days a week. During cross season I probably run about 35 miles a week. I do core exercises. We do two-a-days. We do circuits in the morning. It's a whole bunch of different core exercises like five-minute abs.
BG: You play a different sport every season. What do you like best about being so active?
AH: I'm a really competitive person, so the competition part is always fun. I like winning. And God gave me the ability to do it, so you kind of have to go with it. If He gave it to you, do it.
BG: What lessons have you learned from sports?
AH: I learned that even if you don't win, you've still got to work hard for next time. And when you do win, you shouldn't be satisfied. You've got to keep working for the next time and not just give up.
BG: What have your teammates taught you? With track, cross country and basketball, is it all different types of relationships?
AH: My cross country teammates are like a family. We're always together and we do so many things. They push me and they help me out. With cross country, basketball and track, their encouragement helps you not want to stop when you feel like you need to.
BG: What are your plans after high school?
AH: I want to go to college and hopefully run. I'd like to go to IU, but Butler is also in my thought process. I'd like become a crime scene investigator, I just have to get past the whole death part of the job.