Destini Pickens, Long Beach an Interview

Name: Destini Pickens, Long Beach

Personal bests:

54.46, 12.23, 24.36

Academic interests: Political Science 

Hobbies: Running and reading 

Favorite quote: "We are only as strong as our weakest link"

How did you get involved in this sport: My parents were great athletes during their years of high school and hearing their times inspired me to run.

What is your favorite race and why? My favorite race is the 400, It's my favorite race because it is easy to analyze and takes a lot of time to master. 

How do you look at being ranked as top in the state for an event? More of pressure than a privilege. I'm looking more at prevailing with the times better than the top time. 

Do you have a specific motivation? My motivation is to have the top time in the US and to be able to go to the New Balance Nationals with the top time. That I am working on. 

What has been your biggest challenge in the sport? Tensing and keeping my head down.

What do you hope to achieve in the future? I hope to break records and to receive my masters.  

What do you hope to achieve the rest of the season and at state? Keeping form throughout my race and keeping a steady pace to the finish line to get the time that I desire. 

Walk us through a race for you. 

Firstly before any race I continue to stay hydrated, I make sure to eat half a banana, grapes and an orange, then the day of I place tissue at the very top at my shoe for goodluck, throughout the day I stay hydrated and keep my body cool. Lastly, I stretch, pull my legs back and raise my knees as high as they can go before my event is called, and I head out to the track. 

What goes through your mind? Honestly, almost a little doubt, I always tell myself before a race, someone is always working harder than you, but you have to work harder, If i've been working like I should hard, well then I should not have any problems.

Do you play any other sports? Track is my primary sport. 

How do you look at being top ranked in the state? More of a push to do better, and more to come from it.

How and when did you start training for track and field this season? I never stopped training. After my injury, I took a 2 weeks rest and got back out on the track. I started practicing in December for indoor and I started with distance then moved over to speed work. 

What do you enjoy most about your team? What I enjoy most about my team is the hard work and dedication they put in when it's time to come together, we take up for each other and make no excuses. 

What team goals does your team have? To win state. 

What do you feel you have learned from you coaches, teammates and the sport? Loyalty. My coach has stuck around for us and has placed us in certain positions to get us ready and to understand the sport from the way he sees it. The sport keeps me to remain humble. 

What would you like to see happen in the future  in the sport? I would like to see myself go pro in the future.

If there was one thing in the world you could do, what would it be and why? It would be to have super speed (close to it) because I think it would be great to be the fastest in the world.