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Nicolet National Bank Senior Spotlight: Ryla House, Ashwaubenon cross country and track and field

Name: Ryla House

Activities: Cross country, track and field

Parents: Susan House and Jeff House

Instagram: @rylahouse

Ryla was a four-year member of the Ashwaubenon cross country team and is currently in her last season of track and field, running middle distance.

How did you get started in running?

“When I started high school, my mom told me that I had to do a sport or club so I could meet people. I was really shy as a kid, and I was very obstinate about that, because I only wanted to skate – that was my favorite thing to do. My coach told me that I should do a running sport to increase my endurance for skating, and then I joined the cross country team that fall.”

Why did you stick with running?

“My freshman year, I wasn’t terrible at it, but I didn’t enjoy it until maybe the end of my sophomore year track season. It’s a good stress reliever for me, breaking the mental barriers. Something about running until your legs are numb just really takes the stress away. That’s my addiction to it.”

You’re trying the 300 meter hurdles this year. How is that going?

“It’s not as hard as I thought it would be to get over the hurdle, it’s more of the mental barrier of not being afraid of the hurdle. It’s not too bad, I think I just need more practice and more time to work on it and I think I’ll get better with time.”

Did you race at all during the great weather in early April?

“We had two meets during that week. We had the Ashwaubenon triangular, and I set a personal record in the 4×800 meter relay by eight seconds. That was the first time I did 300 hurdles, so it wasn’t that good of a race. We went to Kimberly on Thursday, and I set a personal record in the 400 meter dash by one second. It’s about nine seconds faster than I was running last year.”

You’re also a club figure skater. How did you get into that?

“It’s kind of ironic, because I was very much a bookworm when I was a kid and my sister did all the sports, she was super athletic. I would try to find a sport – I tried gymnastics about five times, I would make it a couple weeks and then get sick of it. I remember in third grade, some girl had a figure skating jacket. I told my mom I wanted to do that, and she wasn’t convinced that I would stick with it, because I wasn’t a very courageous person. The first time I did it, my grandparents brought me and I would not leave the boards. Apparently I loved it, because I would keep holding on to the boards. In terms of breaking the mental barriers, the more you do it, the more confidence you build. It’s just really relaxing overall.”

What’s the timeline on the figure skating season?

“Competition season is usually the summer and then it goes into the winter. My off-season where I do a lot more training is in the winter. It’s a lot more refined during cross country and track, but I still get a couple hours in each week.”

Does the track team ever go out to eat after races?

“We usually don’t, but there is a tradition that the girls will go to Starbucks after practices. We also have team dinners every Wednesday at the school where parents bring in homemade dinner or desserts.”

Who is on top of your music playlist right now?

“I love Taylor Swift. I think she’s probably the one I listen to the most. Besides her, I don’t really have any. It’s just Taylor Swift.”

What is your favorite movie?

“My favorite move I’ve ever watched is Ten Things I Hate About You.”

What is a favorite television show?

“I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I really enjoyed ‘Wednesday.’”

Do you have any pets?

“I have a dog named Lucky. He’s a Spanish water dog.”

What are a couple of your hobbies?

“I am very big on academics, I’m a very big perfectionist when it comes to school. I do a lot of homework outside of school, but I also love to read. I work at Mission BBQ, and I coach figure skating.”

Where is a favorite place you’ve traveled to?

“I definitely traveled a lot more when I was younger, but last year for Spanish we went to Ecuador. I think that’s the favorite place I’ve been just because it’s so different from everywhere. Specifically the Galapagos Islands was the coolest part, they have a lot of protection for the wildlife there so the animals aren’t scared to come up to you. You can get super close to them. There’s laws against hunting them and whatnot, but it’s so cool to see them everywhere and the water was just gorgeous. I got to swim with a sea turtle. The wildlife and nature of it was really cool.”

What do your plans after high school look like?

“I plan on going to IUPUI [Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis] to major in biology on a pre-physical therapy track.”

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