Hope Igbinoghene, a rising junior for Hewitt-Trussville High in Alabama, had two impressive runs last weekend at the AAU Region 6 meet. We caught up with the sprinter in this week's Friday Focus to see what she had to say about her high school track season, her performance last weekend, and her goals for the AAU Junior Olympics.
MileSplit: Were you happy with how your high school season went? What we're some of the highlights? What are some things you want to improve on this summer/next year?
Igbinoghene: I was very happy with how my high school season went! Back in 2015, I injured my knee (tore my ACL and meniscus) and coming back from that was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I went backward, so track became very stressful, but this year I found my love for track again. I've been training hard, and the results have been showing. The highlight of my season was probably running 7.7 in indoor state and running 24.7 in the 200 at state in outdoor. I want to continue to get stronger (mentally and physically) and improving my time in each of my events.
According to our stats, this past weekend at the AAU regional meet was the first time you've dropped under 12 seconds in the 100m and your second time under 25 in the 200m. How did it feel to run that fast? (The mechanics of it, start drive phase, finish, etc…).
Actually, I ran under 12 in a meet a few weeks ago which was my first time, but at this past meet, I ran 11.95 which is a PR. Before the race, I told myself that I was going to break 12 again and I did. The key to me running that 11.9 was coming out of the blocks quickly, good drive phase, and pumping my arms quickly until the finish. As far as the 200, since state, I haven't been able to run anything under 24.7, but I've been running a lot of 24.9s so I'm going to keep training hard so I can get that PR.
What has training been like to get to that point?
I've been working a lot on my drive phase and getting out of the blocks quicker. Another thing I've been working on is running more relaxed so I don't exhaust myself a whole lot but still run fast. I can honestly say that I'm at the track every day training to get better. I've been doing a lot of ab workouts too so I can strengthen my core; that has been helping my times improve also.
Why do you compete in summer/AAU track? Do you feel like it's helped you for the high school season?
I compete in summer track to better my time and mostly because I enjoy competing. Why stop at outdoor state when I have more meets that I can compete in over the summer and better my time is how I look at it. Running summer track helps me a lot for my high school season because in the summer I'm going to big meets where it's the best of the best and the competition level is high.
What is it like for you going to meets like New Balance Nationals and AAU Junior Olympics and getting to compete against some of the best girls in the country?
It's an amazing experience just to be there competing and even watching the best of the best all around the country. Although it can tend to be nerve-wracking, I know that it will only make me a great sprinter.
What are some of your goals for the AAU Junior Olympics?
My goal is to close out the season with an 11.7 in the 100 and 24 low in the 200.
Which event is your favorite and why?
The 100 for sure, and it's the one event that I can say that I have excelled in a lot since I started track and will continue to excel in.
Taylor Swift or Beyonce?
Favorite Track athlete?
Favorite Post Race Snack?
What's one fun fact about Hope?
Even though I'm not the best singer (to most people, I think I'm a great singer), I really love to sing.