Salute To Seniors: Ethan Doller (Westlake)

Name: Ethan Doller

School: Westlake

What was your most memorable race/throw/jump/vault/moment?

    My most memorable race was my Junior XC region race where I made it to state. I was definitely the underdog that whole season and had to work my way up for a varsity spot, and no one really thought I could be on Varsity even my past coaches didn't think I could. So it was an amazing feeling to prove them wrong and it was so gratifying to know that my hard work was paying off.

Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
    I would have a few people that I would want to beat in a race or stick with but overall my biggest competitor has been myself. During a race, I'd always compete with myself to push harder or go faster because my mind thought I could go faster but my body didn't think that I could. So it was a constant battle, battling mind over matter.

What was your greatest accomplishment?
    My greatest accomplishment was running at State my Junior XC season, I was lazy and wasn't willing to put in the work my sophomore year and wasn't really committed on coming to practices. So being able to work as hard as I could and then being able to run at state was so gratifying.

If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
    I would definitely limit the distractions I had during my senior XC season, I didn't feel like I was fully invested and I really wanted to have a standout season especially after tearing my Achilles during my Junior track season. I would've also liked to have started running for Westlake my freshman year instead of sophomore year. During my freshman year, I ran with my middle school and had no idea that I could run for Westlake, but if I did know back then I probably wouldn't want to anyway because of how focused I was on being a basketball player instead of being a runner.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
    Definitely, my season-ending injury my Junior track season. I partially tore my Achilles, Soleus, and tore all of the fiber muscles connecting my Soleus to my Achilles. This happened during the first indoor race of my Junior track season which put me in a boot for five months. It was an absolute battle trying to get back to PR healthy after my injury and it sometimes still bothers me today. But I feel like the battle was more mental than physical in overcoming my injury, it took me for what felt like forever to finally regain confidence in myself and my abilities after my injury.

What will you miss the most?
    I'll miss racing and competing with my teammates. In my opinion, one of the best things about track besides seeing my own personal growth is to see the improvement of my teammates and that's something I'm really going to miss. I'm also going to miss just racing, in general. There is no better feeling in the world than crossing the finish line with a PR or winning a race, but I'm confident that I'm not done yet and I'll have plenty of those moments still to come.

What advice would you give to younger athletes?
    Start being elite TODAY! Start doing the little things more and getting in those difficult runs. Because those things will separate you from other runners and you'll start to see your improvement increase immensely.  Hard work only pays off if you put in the hard work, so start putting in that work now!

What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
    My coaches have had such a big impact on my goals, my coaches have constantly been pushing me to my best and more. Especially this year my coaches have been encouraging me to make scary goals for myself and help me do everything in my power to achieve those goals. Without my coach's support and encouragement, I probably wouldn't even be a runner. I also am so thankful for their support outside of running, one of my goals this summer was to go on a mission for my church, and since I shared that goal with them they have been pushing me to my very best so that I'll be able to have that opportunity.

What are your college plans?
    This summer I will be serving a mission for my church for two years, in the Brazil Rio de Janeiro North Mission! After which I will be attending Utah State University and will be hoping to walk on to their track and XC team.

Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?
    I'd like to say thank you to all my coaches, you've all had an amazing impact on my life and I am so thankful for the time I've been able to spend with you guys as my mentors and coaches. I'd also like to thank my teammates who've supported me through my highs and lifted me through my lows, I love all you guys! Lastly, I'd like to thank my family who would love me and be proud of me regardless of my performances, you guys are the reason I race and I'm so grateful for you!