Name: Kayla Mikottis
School: St. Charles North, junior
Sport: Track and Field
Why she was selected: Mikottis placed first in the discus, qualifying for the Class 3A state meet for the second consecutive season. Chronicle sports reporter Jacob Bartelson caught up with Mikottis to discuss her discus career and more. Below is an edited transcript.
Bartelson: How did you come to learn discus/shotput was the sport for you?
Mikottis: In seventh grade, I went out for track because my parents were runners and I was excited to try to shorter distances that track had to offer...I was really fortunate that the coaches at Haines [Middle School] encouraged all the kids to try every event because I had a random ability to sling the discus that I probably wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.
Bartelson: How does the sport allow you to express yourself as an athlete?
Mikottis: I really love throwing because it is perfect for the kind of person I am off the field. My friends and family would tell you that I am very stubborn. In many cases, this can translate to being a good thing because it makes me so determined to succeed. Throwing is very technical/repetitive and my determination helps me to excel.
Bartelson: Do you admire any discus/shotput Olympic athletes, and if so, why?
Mikottis: I have so many throwers that I love to follow. My favorite couple probably being Valarie Allman and Maggie Ewen. They are both currently post-collegiate throwers. I love them because they are both so amazing at what they do yet still relatable.
Bartelson: What advice would you give to those aspiring to try discus but perhaps are unsure?
Mikottis: I would definitely say to go for it! Not only is throwing amazing stress relief but it’s also very rewarding. To be able to go in the circle and see results you know you worked hard for is an amazing feeling. You just have to be able to stay patient. I hadn’t set a personal record this season until conference but it just makes it all the more rewarding when it happens.