Bakline's Future is Female Coaches series recognizes and celebrates the women in our sport who lead, inspire, and make us all stronger. This week we’ve interviewed Ayumi Nagano, head coach of cross country and track and field at Millennium Brooklyn High School. Ayumi's running journey began at age 12 and her experiences as a student athlete have shaped both her own running journey as well as her approach to coaching.
After my first day of medical school in the fall of 2015, I made my way to what would soon become my second home for the next couple of years—a study space we called the Blue Room. It was ratty and rundown, with a row of desks and cubicles under dim lighting and in near-constant dead silence. At the end of my usual row of cubicles, the wall featured a poster of Steve Prefontaine racing at Hayward Field, emblazoned with one of his famous quotes: "I'm going to work so that it's a pure guts race at the end, and if it is, I am the only one who can win it."