MileSplitCA Podcast - Mariah Castillo

Mariah Castillo, a 2018 graduate of Saugus High, joins MileSplitCA editor Jeffrey Parenti in this podcast interview. Castillo is the winner of MileSplitCA's Greatest Girls Combination Distance Runner of the Decade poll tournament, an overwhelming voting favorite throughout the two-week five-round competition.

During her senior year at Saugus, Castillo displayed tremendous range across all three of the standard California distances: 800m, 1600m, 3200m. Her PRs of 4:39.77c and 10:06.47 rank third and eighth, respectively, in the decade and are the the No. 8 and No. 15 performances in CA history. 

Castillo just finished her sophomore year at TCU where her last competition included two medals at the Big 12 Indoor Championships where, on consecutive days, she broke the school's 36-year-old 800m indoor record. 

In this wide-ranging interview, Castillo reflects on winning the poll tournament, her senior year at Saugus, the influence of Saugus coach Rene Paragas, homesickness when she first went to Texas, overcoming her learning disability, and why her IG name is 'goofy_mariah'. 

Interview timestamps

00:05 - Introduction
00:40 - Were you aware of the poll tournament?
01:54 - Have you seen the dream teams?
02:23 - Congratulations on winning the poll tournament
03:56 - Mariah on voting support from the Saugus community
05:49 - Senior year at Saugus HS
07:12 - Mariah on Saugus HS coach Rene Paragas
08:33 - The influence of Paragas during a rollercoaster senior year
12:05 - Transition from disappointment at CIF-State to a PR at Brooks
12:50 - Message from Paragas that still sticks with you
13:37 - How was the transition to college at Texas Christian University?
14:28 - Surviving early homesickness: 'I can't quit'
15:19 - How close did she come to leaving Texas
16:00 - Advice to other freshmen who struggle in their first year away?
16:50 - Running evolution at TCU, adjusting to a new coach
19:54 - Heading into indoor season: 'I felt very prepared'
21:38 - Big 12 Indoor Championships
23:00 - Is 800m your focus event?
23:28 - On the shutdown
25:24 - Melting pot environment of the TCU roster
27:08 - On her course of study, future plans and family
28:40 - Challenge of online learning: 'It took an army to help me get good grades and pass'
29:50 - On overcoming challenges of her learning disability
30:38 - TCU: 'You give a chance on us, we'll give a chance on you'
31:24 - 'I have a great support system there'
32:29 - Finished with sophomore year; on returning to TCU in the fall
33:10 - Plans for the summer, training
34:23 - On training and training partners
35:31 - What are you doing to pass the time when not running?
36:50 - IG name of 'goofy ... mariah'
37:36 - Thank you, Mariah, and CONGRATULATIONS!