“If someone were to have told me at the beginning of last year that I’d be where I am, I would have thought he or she was crazy,” Farber said. “But I’ve been thinking about it since the spring and at the beginning of the fall felt like being an All-American wasn’t really that out of reach for me.”
Despite being in 22nd place a mile through the race, Farber slowed her pace relative to the competitive field of runners. But she said she was able to remain focused as her coaches, especially head coach Mark VanAlstyne, cheered her on from the sideline.
“The competition was unbelievable. I had never been in a race before with so many great runners. But it helped a lot having coach VanAlstyne there,” Farber said. “Some people would think that running at the national championships would be something crazy, but he helped me see that it was just another race.
“I could hear them screaming that I was right there. So I knew I was not far off. That kept me focused throughout the race.”
For VanAlstyne, it is not one thing that has led to Farber’s success this season, but rather a complete list of the intangibles that she possesses.
“It’s how hard she’s worked over the previous year that has got her to where she is. On top of that, she has the attitude of a fighter who never gives up. And I think it helps that she has a little bit of a short memory, meaning if she has a sub-par race she doesn’t let it get her down that long. She bounces back quickly and is resilient,” VanAlstyne said.
“These all add up to just a tremendous body of hard work, and she deserves everything she’s accomplished.”
For Farber, being named an All-American for the first time still has not set in, but it is an accomplishment she is undoubtedly grateful for.
“It feels unreal. It hasn’t really hit me yet — maybe in a week or so,” Farber laughed. “But I’m really fortunate to have come this far.”
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