Mesa Ridge’s Janise Everett uses her competitive drive in all aspects of life

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COLORADO SPRINGS – Sometimes doing something isn’t worth it if a best effort isn’t going to be given. At least that’s how Mesa Ridge’s Janise Everett sees life.

Every time she sets up at the start line to run a sprint the goal is simple: be better than the last time. Striving for improvement makes her who she is both on the track and in the classroom. And it’s really not a coincidence that the two go hand in hand, at least for her.

“Track allows you to always have a goal,” Everett said. “You always want to be faster. Just like in school, you always want to do better, get a better grade on a test, you always want to turn in your assignments and get a good grade. That’s what’s running through your head all the time no matter what it is. You always want to do better.”

She has emerged as one of the top Colorado Springs-area sprinters in Class 4A. She has her fair share of wins, taking the 100-meter dash at the Palmer Terror Invite, the Harrison Invite and the Petrelli and Hunt Invite. She also has wins in the 200 at the Terror and the Petrelli and Hunt.

And while the thrill of the win is always a great feeling, what keeps driving her forward is that desire to always improve. To always be better. Looking at her results and seeing that her goal hasn’t been achieved will get her to reset her focus and keep pushing to make her next effort her best one yet.

“Before each (100) race, the PR I’m trying to now is a sub-12,” she said. “It’s always 11.9 or 11.6 or whatever. Anything sub-12 is what I’m trying to get.”

In her three wins in the 100, she has recorded times of 12.41 seconds (Palmer), 12.92 (Harrison) and 12.55 (Petrelli and Hunt). She hasn’t quite gotten below that 12-second mark, but like any great competitor, she refuses to get discouraged. If anything, she thrives on the challenge of constantly improving.

“I love it,” she said. “I was always told that I’m not racing against others, that I’m racing against the clock. The clock is the no. 1 thing that I always have to catch. I have to beat it no matter what, so I have to focus on what time I have to get.”

But the energy of having to beat someone next to her is certainly beneficial. The clock is a consistent opponent but the runner on her left or right could always surprise her.

Racing for a time and constantly trying to improve is what makes competing a great life avenue for Everett, but the addition of having to outrun others just makes the overall experience fun.

“Racing against others is where the thrill comes from,” she said. “You never know how fast the person next to you truly is. It’s always just a guess. You can’t underestimate anyone.”

Not underestimating other runners is just another trait that has made her successful. And the mentality carries over in every aspect of her life. She can succeed at a high level and her desire to improve will constantly allow her to do so.