Athlete Q & A with Westminster's Naima Turbes

When did you first become interested in track?

My love for track began in 7th grade when my best friends and I competed together in the 4x400 relay. There is something so exhilarating about running with the baton in your hand for your teammates. I was willing to wait until the end of every Track meet and put in my best effort during practices to accomplish something great with my friends.

What other sports do you play at your school?

For the past two years I have played a guard on my school's Basketball team. I also run Cross Country in the Fall, on the team we call our "sisterhood". Every year, XC rivals Track as my favorite sports season.

When did you realize, you had the talent to succeed in the sport? and who brought that to your attention?

I never experienced one moment or race that made me realize I could succeed in running because of talent only. Instead, I have always believed that my consistent hard work would produce successful results. I believe in myself, and all the hard work and training is paying off this season. Also, Coach Eubanks, my Cross Country coach, has always supported and encouraged me to believe in myself since 9th grade. I was a completely different runner back then, and Coach Eubanks told me that I had the drive and ability to keep getting faster.

What is your favorite event and why?

The 1600/Mile is my favorite event. I love the universal nature of a Mile race, as most people understand what it means to run a Mile and comparatively fast times. To me, the Mile is the hallmark of distance running events and one of the best races to watch or compete in. I look up to incredible Mile runners like Jenny Simpson as role models in the Sport.

Who has been your most influential Coach in your Track career and why?

I am influenced by a team of people at Westminster.  No athlete can succeed without a team of coaches and supporters. I'm thankful to my head coach Gary Jones, who is the mastermind behind the Westminster Track and Field program. He listens to and encourages me to trust myself. Distance Coach Joe Tribble, pushes me beyond my limits each day in practice and is a constant reminder of the strength and will power we all possess. He inspires me and I'm grateful for his guidance. Finally, my cross country coach, Amy Eubanks supports my running, but has influence that extends beyond the trails. She's my college recruiting contact, injury advisor, and overall 'Life coach". Her support and guidance is so important to me and I thank God everyday for putting her in my life.

Do you compete in Indoor or Summer Club Track, and if not, why? 

I don't compete in Indoor Track, as its Basketball season. This year, I actually traveled to Kenya with my school during the Winter, and each year, I like to take that season as a mental and physical break from running training. I do compete in Summer Club Track with the Gazelles TC, usually as preparation for larger Summer meets like New Balance.

What has been your favorite moment in your Track career thus far and why?

Last season, we broke our school's 4x400 record unexpectedly at a home meet. Each leg of the relay performed well and by the end, 3 of us were screaming like maniacs encouraging our anchor leg Victoria Flowers to a fast finish. I will never forget the feeling of pride and excitement when my head coach Gary Jones, told us we had just broken a longstanding school record. 

What are your ultimate goals for the 2018 HS Outdoor Track season?

I want to win State in both of my individual events and contribute to a potential team Title. I want to PR in the 800 and qualify for New Balance Nationals in that event and will also push for new PR's in both the 1600 and 3200m events with hopes of running my fastest races at State and then Nationals. My specific goal times for races are ever-changing, as I continue to improve, and I want to push myself to go beyond my expectations.

What is your favorite subject in school?

My favorite subject is biology. I love the applications of the class to everyday life and running. We're always learning about topics that I've always had questions about. In the future, I hope to study biology in college and attend medical school.

What is your favorite food?

Oatmeal. I live for my morning oats with some form of nut butter and berries! I also love oatmeal's versatility and eat copious amounts of granola, oat bars, and oatmeal cookies. 

How do you spend your 'off time' away from school and the track?

I am a food lover and often find myself in the kitchen baking or cooking healthy recipes. I also find time to read, blog, and play the saxophone. 

Are College coaches pursuing you to compete for them, have you signed a LOI yet? and if so, with who?

I've had conversations with multiple colleges, but have yet to sign a LOI. I am currently still exploring what program I think suits me best, and am excited by the potential opportunities to continue to grow in college running!

Do you follow MileSplit GA?

Of course! I follow MileSplit GA on Instagram and consistently check the website.