Athlete Spotlight: Sydney Milani

Sydney Milani is having a historical season, breaking multiple state records and winning races by upwards of 10 seconds in a minute-long race. In the 100 meter dash, Milani set a PR of nearly a full second this year already with an 11.55, broke 24 for the first time in the 200 meter dash, ran a 2-second PR in the 400 of 53.61, and won the Drake Relays 800 in 2:11. While the SEP senior has always been a high-caliber athlete with multiple top 3 State finishes, this year she has taken the track by storm. Read on below for a Q&A with Milani about this season and her hopes for the future!

How did you get started in track and field?

I didn't start competitively running until 8th grade when it became available for us at school but my family is very fitness oriented so I have been running since I was very young. 

What is your favorite event to compete in?
I don't necessarily have a favorite event. Throughout the years I have tried many events and I look forward to racing in all of them. It is fun to challenge myself in different areas since each race has its own unique challenges. But I will say the 4x4 is definitely one my teammates and I always look forward to at the end of the night. It is held close to our coach's heart and our team has grown to honor it so we like to get business done in that race together. 

What would you credit for your big improvements this year?
I would definitely credit my Coaches first. I am very close with them and they have been so patient with me and worked with me so much throughout the years. I also credit my teammates because I wouldn't be the athlete I am without them stepping up to the plate to train with me in the off season and push me. Then of course I credit my family because like I said earlier we are very fitness oriented and I am so grateful that I was raised the way I was to be driven to always do my best and be not only physically prepared but mentally prepared as well.  

What extra steps have you taken to become a record breaking athlete?
It has been a long process. I ran cross country even though it wasn't exactly my favorite thing to do. That really strengthened my mind since running long distance is all mental, it strengthened my endurance, and it also strengthened team chemistry because the whole cross country crew also runs track so training together all year long makes us very close and competitive with each other which pushes me and makes me want to do well for them. I've also spent countless hours in the weight room. I feel lifting weights is very underestimated with runners but it has definitely made me faster. I do 2 practices a day in the off season (running and lifting).  Then just consistency, attitude, mindset, and my love for the sport I think really got me where I am. 

What are your hopes for your post-high school running career? 
 I am running at Iowa State next year and I know it will be a whole new ball game and I know I will be challenged but I am very excited. Right now I'm not too sure what to expect but I hope I can go in there, work hard, and make an impact for the team. 

What advice do you have for younger athletes who look up to you? 
I would tell them to give 100% in all they do. Whether it's running, soccer, dancing, school, you name it. Work hard even outside of practice. Do the little extra things that no one else will. It takes time but it will pay off. Also be a good person. Your character will correlate into your athletics. Work in silence, work through the pain with grit, always be humble, and inspire others with action.