Aubry Donley, senior runner of Lincoln High School, seems like she has been around a long time in the high school track ranks. That's probably because she has been earning hardware at the state track and field meet since her freshman year.
Donley has three individual state track and field championships to her name. Two coming last year in the 400 and 800 while another coming in the 400 as a sophomore. She has medaled at state eight times since her freshman season with her entire state meet left. She was also part of the state championship cross country team at Lincoln High School this fall, finishing in second place behind teammate Jaycee Vath who was the 1A state champion as a sophomore.
Donley, a Friends University signee that has great range from the 100 all the way to the 800, even 1600 if she wanted to, is looking to defend her titles this spring in the 400 and 800. She's also looking to better her PRs (800 - 2:21.37, 400- 58.17). We caught up with her below in the latest Q&A edition of Faces in Kansas.
This feature is presented by Millard Management - Rich Jantz, proud to support Aubry Donley. Best of luck to Aubry and Lincoln High School this season from Millard Management.
Q&A w/ Donley
How did you get involved in track and field?
I first got involved with track when we had last day of school track meets during gradeschool. There we found out that this might be my sport. As junior high track came and went, I was officially set on pursuing track and field as a main goal.
What are your goals this season?
My goals this season are to hopefully keep the title “State Champion” and continue bettering my times to get them near college level times.
Do you guys have a shot to do big things this year?
I do believe our team has a good shot to bring several to state, hopefully even a relay team to go for a title! Individually, many people have a good chance at qualifying for state, and competing very well.
What makes you such a force as an athlete?
I believe what makes me a force as an athlete is my competitiveness. I do not like to lose, to that helps me drive to try my hardest at all times.
What’s the atmosphere like to play sports for your school and town?
I absolutely love playing sports for LJSHS and Lincoln County in itself. Our school and community both are supportive of all Lincoln sports, which really helps all of us athletes continue to strive to do our best to uphold our names.
For anyone that hasn’t seen you or your team compete, why come and support?
I think sports in itself are amazing to watch! I love going to watch sports, but the better thing about our Lincoln track team is being able to see our “togetherness.” Everyone on our track team is doing different events, but you can always tell when one of our teammates is competing because you’ll see some crazy kids screaming at their friend to run faster, jump further, or throw harder! Seeing us scream at our teammates should surely get you excited enough to join in and help us cheer on everyone!
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a competitor?
I believe my strengths as a competitor are that I am very competitive, but I also have been taught good sportsmanship. My main weaknesses as a competitor is that I psych myself out and am fairly hard on myself.
How does track and field help you in all sports, if you play multiple sports?
My only other main sport is cross country. I think track helps me with cross country to gain more confidence when I am racing, and helps me to realize when I am running too fast of a pace.
Who are other key athletes on your team we need to look for?
In all honesty, all of the athletes on the Lincoln High School Team are amazing. They might not all be state placers, but you never know at the end of the day what they will have medaled in. They always manage to surprise me each meet with how they have improved and competed in their event(s.) I do look Raegan Stewart and Shelbie Ford to continue placing at State in Cross Country and hopefully track. One of my best friends, Jaycee Vath, will continue to place at State in Cross Country and Track.
Favorite thing about track and field?
I have two favorite things with Track and Field. The first one is the socialization aspect of it. I can’t even count how many friends I have just from seeing people at different meets. The other thing is my team. I love our team because everyone is always upbeat, cracking jokes, and supportive.
How cool is the state track and field experience in Wichita?
Competing at Cessna is an indescribable experience. I can’t count how many people I’ve talked to that don’t even compete in track and field and they are in shock just being there seeing everyone, and hearing the loud roar of the crowd. One word for Cessna is unforgettable.
Do you play any other sports, tell us about that, what other positions do you play?
The only other sport I do is Cross Country. I also did winter Track this year, and have done summer track a few years as well.
What is it like to compete for your coach?
Over the years I have always had Coach Crist for Cross Country and Spring Track. Competing for him has been awesome. I like that for the most part he is laid back, but gets fired up when I need the encouragement. In addition to Coach Crist, I have had Coach Rathbun for Spring Track for two years. Having him was great because he was always optimistic, and didn’t let me get down on myself. The last coach I have had and still train with is Coach Cale. He has been helping me since I was a freshman. I know I cannot thank him enough because I feel that he has gotten me to where I am today. He has been there to help me analyze all of my races, get my paces down, get me stronger, and help me from freaking out before every single race.
What did you and the team do in the off-season to become better?
Almost everyone on our track team participated in basketball this season to help them stay in shape. Those who didn’t do basketball did wrestling, ran on their own, or practiced their throwing techniques. All in all, I know our team has done what was needed to get a good start to the track season.
What interest are you seeing at the next level and what are your plans?
After finishing my high school track career, I am looking forward to going to Friends University to get my Bachelor of Health Science, and competing in Cross Country, and Track and Field. After completing my Bachelor’s Degree, I will apply to Kansas State University to hopefully get accepted into their Veterinary Medicine program.
Favorite thing to do when you aren’t playing sports?
My favorite things to do when I’m not playing sports is either being at one of the two vet clinics I work at; or playing with my dogs Flash, Teddy, Odie, and Odessa.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In ten years I am hoping to have just graduated with my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree, and be working as a Vet at a clinic close to home.
Favorite subject in school, what type of student are you, GPA?
My favorite subject in school is a mix of math and science. It depends on what we’re learning for me to like one more than the other! I have always been a straight A student, who feels the need to be involved in almost every club and activity possible.
Who is your role model?
My role model is my cousin, Abbie Wiegel. She helped me to embrace running 5K’s and always encouraged me when I started competing. She was an amazing runner in high school, but decided to focus on her studies when she went to college. She is now a well-known nurse practitioner in Kansas, who is always there for me to talk to if needed. I remember when I was younger always thinking about how I want to be just like her, helpful, smart, loving, appreciated, stylish, and the best at my job!
Best place to eat in your town or the surrounding area?
We don’t have a whole lot to eat in Lincoln. My favorite place to eat is in Wichita, at the Fazoli’s Restaurant.
One thing the average person wouldn’t know about you?
Something the average person most likely doesn’t know about me is that I was adopted from Mumbai, India (my middle name used to be my first name,) when I was 11 months old, and have lived here in Lincoln County, Ks ever since then with my family – the Donley’s.
Anything else to add?
One fun fact is that I haven’t ran one race since my 8th grade year without my St. Sebastian necklace. For those who don’t know him, he is the Patron Saint of Athletes and Soldiers. I received this necklace from my Confirmation Sponsor and Cousin – Kellie Obermueller.
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