Anima Banks, an alumni of Mamaroneck High School, has had a great deal of success in her five year running career. Her success started at Mamaroneck High School, where she graduated in 2012, with three individual state titles and a scholarship to run at Duke University. She won two indoor state titles in the 1000m run, setting the school record of 2:48.17 during her junior year. She also won an outdoor state title in the 800m run her junior year, but opted out of running her senior year due to a conflict with prom. As well as success at many State Championships, Banks placed third at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in the 800 her senior year, setting the current school record of 2:08.77.
At Duke Banks has had similar success, setting new personal bests and competing as one of the top girl mid-distance runners in the entire country. While she was very good as an underclassmen, her success has only increased as she has gotten older. Recently, at the ACC Championships, Banks placed second, running an incredibly fast time of 2:02.50 in the 800, dipping under the Olympic Trials standard. This means that next month Banks will be traveling out to Oregon to compete against our nation’s top runners from, trying to finish in the top three to earn her ticket to Rio for the Olympic Games. As well as qualifying for the Olympic Trials, Banks also qualified for the NCAA Championships, placing sixth in the 800. She described her journey from freshman year to now, stating that “I definitely have grown a lot, and anyone who knew me freshman year can attest to that. I’ve learned how to take responsibility for my success and what works best for me as an athlete. I’ve become really self-motivated, and I think that is the key for any athlete’s success.”
Banks has been working harder than ever, and is ready to run her hardest at the trials. She spoke about what she wants to accomplish the rest of this year, “My goals are running 2:00 at the trials, and obviously I would never count myself out for the Olympics, but really I just want to qualify for as many rounds as possible and see how fast I can run. I’m in the best shape of my life and I want to capitalize on that, and to do it in at the Olympic trials is such an amazing opportunity.” Banks has had an incredible journey, from winnings states here in Mamaroneck all the way to making the Olympic trials! Success is a measure of how much work you put into something, and Banks has clearly given it her all, “Over the past four years I have consistently ramped up my commitment (in terms of nutrition, sleep, workouts, lifestyle) and it all came together this year, when I absolutely gave the sport my everything. And I came to love it.”
By William Young