Fresh off her fastest 4x400-meter relay leg at the Tufts Invitational and All-Centennial Conference First Team selections in the 400 and 4x400, senior Ashley Tyburski has put together a more than impressive senior campaign for the women’s track and field team.
As she prepares to run in the distance medley relay (DMR) at the NCAA Indoor National Championships on March 11, The News-Letter had the opportunity to interview the senior standout, who is this week’s Athlete of the Week.
The News-Letter: How does it feel to run at Indoor Nationals for the first time in your Hopkins career?
Ashley Tyburski: I’m very excited to compete at Indoor Nationals this week. I’ve actually been to Indoor Nationals before but have never raced there. My sophomore year, in the spring of 2020, the DMR qualified last-minute for Indoor Nationals due to scratches from other teams, so we flew out to North Carolina, but the meet was canceled due to the pandemic before we were able to race.
After that canceled season and working through a season-ending injury that kept me out of competition last year, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to compete on this stage and looking forward to contributing to this DMR relay. It's been a season goal of mine to make it to this meet and earn a spot on the DMR, and I've been lucky enough to have been pushed by my amazing teammates and coaches throughout practices and meets this whole season in order to achieve this.
N-L: What will practices look like for you this week as you prepare to run your leg in the DMR?
AT: Over the weekend I raced a 4x4 relay at Tufts, so this week will just be about maintaining fitness and doing a little speed work.
Monday will be the most intense workout of the week, with some 200s at about the pace the second half of my race should be at. Tuesday will be more 200s but with longer rest and much faster, attempting to simulate the first 200 of my DMR leg. I’ll also do a short lift on Tuesday, but nothing too heavy. Wednesday will be a 4-mile run on the Alter-G [anti-gravity] treadmill at about 80% body weight just to keep my legs moving before we fly to North Carolina that evening. Thursday I’ll shake out at the track down in North Carolina, and Friday is race day!
N-L: What is your mindset (and/or the other Hopkins national qualifiers' mindset) heading into this final meet before the outdoor season begins later this month?
AT: Having had one of the best relay legs of my life at Tufts over the weekend definitely gave me a confidence boost going into this meet, and I’m just looking to build off of that race at Nationals. With this being my last indoor race ever, I’m definitely going in with the mindset that I’m going to leave it all out there and really compete hard for the relay team. There hasn’t been an Indoor Nationals meet since my freshman year due to the pandemic, so being able to close out my senior indoor season at Nationals is really special.
As a team, we’ve had probably the most successful indoor season since I’ve been here, and we’re really looking to carry that momentum into the meet and shoot for a team podium finish. My teammates are incredibly talented, and with many key performers being seniors or graduate students, it’s a now-or-never moment for this group to podium together.