Natalie Malikov is a foreign exchange student at Ardmore High School and currently competes for the Tigers on the girl’s cross country team. Malikov recently graduated from her high school in Germany and had the opportunity to study in the United States before continuing her education at a university. As a newcomer to Ardmore, Malikov wanted to take part in some of the athletic activities available to students in the local community.
“Since this is my first year in high school, this is also my first year competing in cross country and doing the sport in general,” Malikov said. “I’ve never seen running as my favorite sport to do, but I really wanted to join a sports club – and I’m glad that I did!”
Malikov quickly learned what is required to be successful in cross country.
“Being a good cross country runner requires speed, endurance, and mostly commitment,” Malikov said. “Everyone gets tired while running, but the most important thing is to keep your goal in mind and resist the exhaustion. Your body can go so much longer than you think, it is your mind that limits you.”
Malikov has been enjoying her time in Ardmore and has been making some wonderful friendships that she will never forget. She is grateful for the opportunities that joining the cross country team has provided.
“For me, this season has been going great so far. I never would have expected to win a medal on my first meet after only doing cross country for a week, but I did and my whole team was so proud of me,” Malikov said “However, my favorite part of competing is not the meets themselves – it is the bus rides back to school after. My favorite memory is definitely our team getting fried pies and enjoying the beautiful view of a waterfall after we ran a 5K with extremely sore legs. We were all in such a good mood and I’ve never smiled that much at a competition.”
When Malikov returns to Germany she will begin her studies in university and work toward becoming a doctor.