Sahuaro cross country runner Chloe Newell finished third in last year's Division II state meet in 19 minutes 27.84 seconds.
This year, the senior and three-sport athlete wants to win it all, especially seeing as she was the only runner who wasn't a senior in the top seven in 2010.
"She is probably the best captain I could ask for," fourth-year coach Pam Schlottman said. "She's an incredible athlete, incredible student and very well rounded. She always encourages all her other teammates and wants what is best for them not just herself.
"She's one of those dream athletes."
Aside from excelling in cross country, soccer and track, Newell has also managed a 3.8 GPA. After graduating she wants to study physical therapy, preferably at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.
The Star recently sat down with Newell to see how she feels as the state meet nears, what she can do to win it and more.
What are your chances going into the state meet this year?
A: "I feel like it could go really good, but I don't want to get my hopes up too high. I just want to go in there, do my best and hopefully take the state championship."
What are your goals for the rest of your final year in high school?
A: "My main goal for school would probably be to be in the top 20 of our class. We have a lot of good students here and that's always been a goal of mine. I just want to do it so my parents can be really proud of me.
"Then I want to win a state championship, of course. For track, I would like to get under a five-minute mile. This will be my last soccer season so I want to do well for the team in state, have fun and make an influence on the younger girls."
What colleges are you interested in along with NAU?
A: "I'm interested in the University of Utah, and Paradise Valley has always been there because I like the coach a lot. I could go to Arizona if I'd like, but NAU has always been a main goal of mine because I really like the campus and they have an undergrad for physical therapy and I really like the coach. He hasn't given me any offers yet but I feel like if I keep talking to him and if I can get my times down and maybe win state then he'll start to notice me a little more."
Who is your toughest individual competition in Division II?
A: "Probably a Catalina Foothills runner. They have a lot of good runners and they always switch up. It's a great team so I'm not so much worried about them individually. If I get second it's not that big of a deal compared to my team winning."
How do soccer and cross country work together?
A: "I feel like hand-in-hand they really help each other. Cross country helps soccer because it's helping with endurance, and you need that to play soccer and to keep going through the game. Soccer helps cross county because you need speed. I've got a lot of the kick that a lot of others don't have."