Ayanna Haywood, daughter of Ronald and Erin Haywood, is a junior at Ravenwood High School and this week’s Kerr & Co. Realty Athlete of the Week.
She is a member of the Varsity Track Team and competes as a sprinter. She competes in the 100, 200, 400, 4×100, 4×200, and 4×400.
For all three years of high school, Haywood has gone to State to compete. Before attending Ravenwood, she was a student athlete at Centennial High School. Last year while she was still in attendance at CHS, the 4×400 team broke the school record.
Haywood said her love for running started with her birth mother, who passed away when she was three years old. “My birth mom ran track and I thought that I should try it out,” she said. She started running track in 7th grade.
When asked what inspires her to continue training and competing she said, “The Lord motivates me a lot. I try to pray before every race and I never run without a cross around my neck.”
Haywood’s biggest role models are her birth mother and Allyson Felix, an Olympic runner. She said she looks up to her birth mother due to her self-motivation. Felix, she said, is inspiring because, “she runs a very strong 400.”
Coach Mueller, the Track & Field Coach at RHS said of Haywood:
It can be tough switching schools during high school, but one way to make that transition easier is to participate in athletics. Thankfully, Ayanna isn’t just participating, she is excelling on the track where she had a terrific start to her Ravenwood career last week at the ninth annual March Madness Track & Field Invitational. On day one she finished third overall in the 100 meter dash, running a 13,18 into a strong headwind, then lead the 4×200 meter relay to a runners up finish behind Mt. Juliet. On day two she anchored the 4×400 meter relay to a six second win over her former school, Centennial. Despite being new to the team, she has emerged as a vocal leader and her enthusiasm for and dedication to the sport of track and field are spreading up and down our roster.
Haywood describes herself as goofy, positive, energetic and focused. Outside of running track, she enjoys singing, writing poems, shopping, listening to music and dancing.
After graduating from RHS, she plans to attend college. She is currently undecided about where she will attend.