Grove’s Anastasia Pace – Academic Athlete of the Month Presented by Roberts Auto Center

By Derrick Smith

Balancing schoolwork and athletics can sometimes be a tough chore, but it is vital to being a successful student-athlete. Anastasia Pace says that it can take a little hard work, but that is something she is used to. “Balancing school, sports, and work can be difficult sometimes,” she said. “Most school days are followed by long practices, work, and lots of studying. Trying to juggle so many things at once can be tiring, but hard work has never failed me.”

Anastasia is a senior at Grove High School. She plays center field for the school softball team and runs the 100-meter hurdles for the track team. She began playing softball when she was eight years old, but she did not begin running track until she was in the eighth grade. Last season, Pace saw success in both of her sports.  “Our softball team won the regional championship and competed in the state tournament,” she said. “I finished my track and field season as a conference champ, regional champ, and received third place at the state track meet.”

There are two college athletes that Anastasia looks up to as role models, and she has looked up to them since they were in her shoes.  “Two of my biggest role models are Sydney McLaughlin and Tara Davis,” Anastasia said. “They’re both outstanding college track and field athletes that I watched compete while they were still in high school. They continue to work hard and get better every chance they can.”

The key for Anastasia to be successful in her sports is repetition.  “I have found that muscle memory is the key to being athletically successful. I’ve spent countless hours doing the same drills over and over again, so I’m prepared when it’s game time.”

The biggest moment of her career was when she finally reached a goal she had set for herself.  “The highlight moment of my career was running a personal best of 15.94 at the regional track meet this past season in the 100m hurdles,” Pace said. “To break sixteen seconds in that event was something that I aimed to do since my sophomore year and finally doing it gave me confidence for state the following week.”

Besides hard work, Anastasia attributes her success to a special group of people.  “My athletic and academic career could not be what they are today without my coaches, teammates, teachers, and friends. I want to thank them for everything they have done to help me succeed.”