Smyrna Cross Country runners senior Tori Vickers, junior Gabe Mojica and sophomore David Hall are featured in a recent interview.

Athletes Profiles: Smyrna High School runners: Junior Gabe Mojica, sophomore David Hall and senior Tori Vickers

Question: How old are you, and where are you from?
Tori: I'm 18 years old, and I am originally from New Castle.
Gabe: I'm 16 years old, and I am originally from Puerto Rico. I've been in the US for five years.
David: I'm 15 years old, and I am originally from Wilmington.

Question: How long have you been running Cross Country?
Tori: This is my fourth year on varsity, and I've been running for five years.
Gabe: This is my second year on varsity for Smyrna.
David: I've been running since I was about six. I played other sports, too, and this is my second year on varsity running Cross Country and track for Smyrna.

Question: What has been your toughest meet so far?
Tori: Definitely against Caesar Rodney, because they are also a good team.
Gabe: It would have to be at the Salesianum Invitational this season at Brandywine Creek State Park because of the hills, the heat, and the tough competition that day.
David: Yes, I agree, Brandywine Creek State Park was tough because of the heat and the hills.

Question: What athlete or runner do you most admire?
Tori: I really admire Coach Suarez. I have learned a lot from her.
Gabe: Steve Prefontaine- he was a great distance runner in college and professionally.
David: I admire a lot of pro and college athletes.

Question: Which is more difficult, running on fast, flat tracks, or running on hilly conditions like at
Brandywine Creek State Park?
Tori: Hills are actually my strength, but now I am used to running on both types of courses.
Gabe: I prefer running on the flat courses. You still have to run a strategic race on either course.
David: Running on hills is tougher for me now, so I would say I like running on flat courses better.

Question: What is tougher for you, practices or meets?
Tori: I would have to say practices because Coach Suarez has us do a lot of different drills and we have to do them in certain times. In meets, we run our best. It's also hard to stay focused, but that's important.
Gabe: Definitely practices, where we do a lot of hard work. The mental aspects can be difficult.
David: Practices are very hard, but we are better prepared for meets after tough practices.