Audrey Gariepy-Bogui was recently voted on by coaches as the #1 high school athlete to compete for a Montgomery County team between 2000 and 2009. In her final two years of high school, she won 13 county titles, 13 region titles, and 8 state titles, clocking the fastest times of the decade in the 55- 100- and 300-meter hurdles and clearing 5-09.50 in the high jump. She currently competes for Villanova University. When notified that coaches named her the #1 athlete of the decade, here is what she had to say.
MoCoRunning: How have things been going for you in college the last two years?
Gariepy-Bogui: There have been a lot of ups and downs, including some unfortunate injuries. But I am looking forward to this upcoming indoor season and being able to get back out there and compete.
MoCoRunning: What do you miss most about high school track & field?
Gariepy-Bogui: Surprisingly, although I never thought I’d say this, I actually miss the sportsplex. I think all of us have had some great (and some bad) experiences there, but looking back we did have fun. I also really enjoyed being able to do 4 events at a meet and how everyone in the county was so supportive of one another.
MoCoRunning: What was your greatest high school track & field individual performance and what was significant about it?
Gariepy-Bogui: The most memorable meet of my high school career was definitely the 2007 Outdoor State Meet. What made it so significant was that it was my last high school meet and more importantly, the last time I’d be running with my teammates. In addition, although it was the final meet of the season, it was essentially what my coaches and I had been working towards all year. I went into the meet with many goals but what I wanted the most was to do well in the 100 hurdles. The hurdles have always been my main focus and therefore, running a 13.77 in the finals was extremely rewarding. Having my family, teammates, friends and coaches there and supporting me was just the icing on the cake.
MoCoRunning: What do you think were the reasons for your success in high school?
Gariepy-Bogui: I think my success was the result of hard work and determination. Each season, I made sure to set specific goals for myself and did everything I could to reach those goals. Whether that meant staying at practice later or working out during breaks, I knew that in the long run it would be to my advantage. At meets, I always had particular routines I would go through to get prepared and they were always a big help. Another big contributor to my success was the fact that I always had people who believed in me and helped me reach those goals no matter what.
MoCoRunning: If you were building your own all-decade team of Montgomery County athletes from the last ten years, who are some of the athletes that you would put on it either because you competed against them or you have heard about their accomplishments?
Gariepy-Bogui: This isn’t easy because there are so many great athletes that emerged from this county. Some of the female athletes I would include would be Toni Aluko, Tenesha Hill, Morgane Gay, Ashley and Ashlyn Decruise, and Cara Harrison (just to name a few). Among the guys would be Andrew Jesien, Neal Darmody, Brendan Etzel, and many more.
MoCoRunning: What advice would you give to young athletes who are setting out to win state titles and possibly go after some of your high school records?
Gariepy-Bogui: I’d tell them to stay positive and to keep working hard because eventually the hard work does pay off. Also, one of my coaches used to always tell me not to worry about the competition or the girls in my heat. Although that probably sounds like a given, being able to focus on your lane gets rid of some of the nerves and at that point, you’ll really be able to run Your Own race (and hopefully PR). But honestly when it really comes down to it: just have fun!
MoCoRunning: Being voted #1 on the mocorunning all-decade team is not exactly like winning a Grammy, but is there anyone you want to thank for your accomplishments?
Gariepy-Bogui: I’d like to thank my parents of course for always supporting me and believing that I could succeed. Merci Maman et Papa! In addition, I want to thank my family, friends, many coaches and the Churchill track family. More specifically, thank you to Coach Dave for putting up with me for so long (haha), to Coach Prange and Lindsey Z. for pushing me and yelling my name across the field so many times, and to Coach Buddy for always being there. Last but not least, thank you to all the coaches and people who voted as well as to all those who helped me at meets; whether it was a kind word or help with my blocks, marks, etc. If I missed anyone, know that I am truly grateful.