ST. MARYS — For senior Roughrider Amanda Dues, working hard is easy when it pays off.
Dues is a member of both the track and cross country team for Memorial High School, and she is a dedicated runner. She started track in junior high, and traded volleyball for cross country in high school. Though Dues had heard it was a tough sport, she started the summer workouts with an optimistic outlook.
It turned out the sport was intense, with their coach requiring runners to finish a certain distance in a certain amount of time.
Dues said she doesn’t mind the hard work now, because it is obvious that running 40 miles a week is making a difference.
“I’ve dropped about a minute since this time last year,” Dues said.
Dues said she likes that the sport has both an individual and a team aspect, and she always pushes herself to do the best she can. For some runners, this comes naturally, but Dues said she always has to push herself.
“I tell myself a lot, ‘You can puke when you’re done,’” she said.
She hasn’t gotten sick yet, though there was one competition that was particularly difficult. The regionals competition last year was “a muddy mess,” she said, and cleats have no traction in mud. Wet shoes are a distraction, and at that point the sport becomes a mental game.
Dues was the only member of her team to make it to regionals, which she said was bittersweet. Dues’ goal this year is to make it to state this year with her whole team.
“I know this year as a team we’re a lot better than we have been in the past,” Dues said. “We got a couple of new girls and they’ve helped us as a team be stronger than we were before.”
Dues is looking into running in college, especially if she were to receive an athletic scholarship. Ohio State University is currently at the top of her list, but it’s not “set in stone,” she said.
The thing she will miss the most about her sports is running together as a team and having them push her to do her best.
“Most of them don’t probably realize it but they do help me,” Dues said.