Student-Athlete Spotlight

Student-Athlete Spotlight: Cienega’s Promising Cross Country Runner Ayden Schilb is running a series of brief stories about Southern Arizona high school senior student-athletes entering this school year. The series, first-person accounts from the student-athletes, continues with a profile on Cienega cross country runner Ayden Schilb.

Ayden Schilb

School: Cienega

Honors/Background: Team of the Decade selection. Cienega’s first state champion in boys cross country in 2018.

I first started running track when I was in fourth grade and just decided to try it out for fun. I ran for a club team called the Vail Vipers, and it was the first sport that I had thoroughly enjoyed.

I ended up making the USATF Junior Olympics in my first year and I quickly became passionate about the sport. I continued to run for the Vipers up until eighth grade while I was also doing track and cross country with my middle school team.

Running in middle school was a really fun experience and helped me start to take running much more seriously. Then, by the time I got to high school, I was considered an experienced runner but still had much to learn. I quickly discovered the high level of competition that I would face in high school which helped me learn to always strive to get better. Throughout high school, I have continued to grow and learn as much as I can about the sport and am excited for the next steps in my career!

Cienega senior cross country runner Ayden Schilb (Cienega photo)

My greatest hope for 2020-2021 is to make the best of whatever situation I am faced with and make the most of it. With all of the uncertainties going on right now, I am not exactly sure what the year will look like but do know I will put in my best effort no matter what.

The thing I like most about my team this year is their flexibility and passion. Even though our team hasn’t been able to host even a single official practice, we still have 30 plus athletes running everyday which makes me very excited for the possibilities once the season is underway.

My future goals beyond school are to run for one of the Division 1 schools that I have been talking to which also line up with my academic interests. I want to major in the field of biology and more specifically physiology. After college, I hope to coach for a college team at some point so I can still be involved with the sport.

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