EDH Athlete of the Week: Abby Gladwell

By: Matt Long of the Telegraph
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Abby Gladwell is only a sophomore, but has made her mark on Oak Ridge’s varsity cross country team this season.

On Sept. 16, Gladwell placed first in the Division I-II freshman-sophomore Josh Ruff Memorial Invitational held on the Willow Hills Course, posting a personal-best time on the 3,400-meter course of 14 minutes, 19 seconds.

On Sept. 27 in her first varsity race, Gladwell placed 27th on the challenging three-mile course at Nevada Union High School in Grass Valley, posting a time of 22:12. She helped the Trojans win the meet after the team placed fourth in the first league meet.

At the Clovis Invitational at Woodward Park in Fresno on Oct. 7, Gladwell posted a personal-best time of 21:16.7 over the 5,000-meter course.

“Abby is progressing nicely in workouts and in races,” Oak Ridge coach Bob Wright said. “She is consistently our fourth or fifth faster runner at the varsity level. She won the Josh Ruff Invite against 173 runners and then two weeks later ran faster per mile over 5,000 meters at Clovis, improving by over a minute at the distance from our second league meet at Nevada Union the week before, setting a personal-record.

“As coaches we always like to see progression throughout the season, Abby is doing just that. We’re excited that she’s contributing to what potentially could be the best girls’ team Oak Ridge has ever had. She is a hard worker and although she is just a sophomore, she is a great role model for the first-year runners. This year and the future looks bright.”

Said coach Rob Fairley, “Abby has shown tremendous improvement this season. She has put in a lot of effort at our practices. Abby has taken on the challenge of training and racing at the varsity level. She is a pleasure to coach.”


Folsom Telegraph: What are your hopes/plans for after finishing high school?

Abby Gladwell: I want to go to BYU and then go on to study occupational therapy.


FT: Do sports run in your family?

AG: Yes, my dad and some of my aunts and uncle ran in college. My three brothers run, too.


FT: How long have you been running and how did you get your start in it?

AG: I started running a couple years ago. I was trying to figure out what sport I wanted to do and I decided to stick with running.


FT: What do you enjoy about running?

AG: I like running because it keeps me in shape. It’s a good sport because it’s both a team and individual effort.


FT: You have been steadily improving, culminating with a win at the Josh Ruff Memorial Invitational. How do you feel you’ve done so far this year? Any race you are most proud of and why?

AG: I feel like I’ve improved a lot from last year. I’m most proud of the Josh Ruff race because I felt strong and able to push myself.


FT: What are your goals for this season?

AG: My goal for this season was to be moved up to varsity and I recently was. I was excited to run with the other varsity girls, who are really talented.


FT: Are you involved in other activities at Oak Ridge besides cross country?

AG: I also run track in the spring.


FT: What’s your favorite class at school and why?

AG: My favorite class is English, because I like my teacher this year and the discussions we have in class.


FT: Favorite Food?

AG: I like avocados and Italian food.


FT: Favorite music?

AG: I recently saw Coldplay in concert, and I like them. I like listening to a variety of genres.


FT: Do you have any pets? Tell us about them?

AG: I have a dog named Georgia; she’s a redbone coonhound and a rescue. I like to take her on walks.


FT: Do you have any interesting hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?

AG: I play the piano and I like to learn to play new songs in my free time. I like shopping with my mom or with my friends. I also like to watch movies with my younger brother.


FT: What inspires you in sports?

AG: My dad ran when he was in high school and college, and he inspires me by building me up and giving me advice, and sharing his experiences and opinions. He still holds records at his high school in southern California.