Folsom Athlete of the Week: Natasha EvansBy: Matt Long, Sports Editor
Natasha Evans opened her cross country season at the Oakmont Invitational on Aug. 25 by finishing the 4,000-meter course in 14 minutes, 47.49 seconds.
Evans, a senior, improved her time from the same meet last year by 47 seconds, which is why Evans is the Folsom Telegraph’s Athlete of the Week. Her improvement, at least some of it, was due to the work she put in over the summer. Running between 50 and 55 miles a week, Evans ran about 550 miles over the summer.
“Natasha has been working so hard and doing all the little things outside of practice we ask her to do,” Vista cross country coach Robert Grove said. “Her positive mindset really has shown. There is never a day where she isn’t positive. Her mindset and hard work ethic are taking her a long way. I’m excited to see what this season brings.”
Folsom Telegraph: What are your hopes/plans for after graduation?
Natasha Evans: After high school, I hope to attend a university and continue to compete in cross country and track.
FT: Do sports run in your family?
NE: Yes, both of my parents are runners, and my mom is a former gymnast. My brother also runs cross country and track for Vista.
FT: How long have you been running and how did you get your start in it?
NE: I've been running for about five or six years. I started running in middle school because I was nervous about passing the mile in PE.
FT: What do you like about cross country?
NE: I love the grittiness of cross country, and how you can find your limits and push beyond them. I also love the community of cross country: everyone works together to improve and become the best runners we can be, instead of working against each other.
FT: Some people say running is a stress reliever. Others say running is a good time to think about things. What does running do for you?
NE: Running clears my head. When life gets busy or stressful, I find that even a short run can help me become more centered and remember that everything's going to work out OK.
FT: Coach Grove said you had a strong offseason. Tell us what you did and about the work you put in.
NE: During the offseason, I ran about six days a week, and added more double days and strength work. My team and I also spent a week in Humboldt County for running camp, which was an amazing and inspiring experience that prepared us for the upcoming season.
FT: What are your goals for the upcoming season?
NE: Our team goals include winning league, sections, and the state championships, and qualifying for Nike Nationals. Individually, I hope to win league and place in the top-10 at the state meet.
FT: Have you ever been involved in any other sports?
NE: No, I never really had the coordination for other sports!
FT: What is your favorite class in school?
NE: My favorite class was definitely AP Calculus. I really love math, and this class taught me how to look at the subject in a different way.
FT: Favorite music?
NE: It's hard to pick, but I would have to say classic rock (especially Queen).
FT: Favorite Food?
NE: Anything with potatoes! I especially love gnocchi and sweet potato fries.
FT: Do you have any pets? Tell us about them.
NE: I have two dogs: a Cavalier King Charles and a pit bull-lab mix. I also have four cats with a lot of personality - Sam, Raven, Annie, and Vivian Marie.
FT: Do you have any hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?
NE: I really enjoy drawing, astronomy, and just hanging out with my brother.
FT: What inspires you in sports?
NE: My teammates and coaches inspire me every day. They motivate me to put in the work and dig deep in races, and I'm so thankful for them. We're all super close, and I believe that running for each other will help us have an amazing season.
FT: Is there a particular job or profession you’d like to have after college?
NE: I hope to pursue a career in space sciences, hopefully, as an astrophysicist or planetary scientist.