Q5 with Lansing's star running duo, Nashia and Malika Baker

Earlier this year, Lansing's Nashia and Malika Baker capped off their stellar high school careers by finishing fifth and 23rd, respectively, at the 5A state cross country meet.
A few weeks later, the sisters were recognized by Greater Kansas City Cross Country Coaches Association for their outstanding performance during the 2012 season, which included recording the fastest two girls' times in school history.

Why do you enjoy running cross country so much? When did you start running for fun and when did you start taking it serious?
Nashia: I enjoy running cross country so much because it helps me to build diversity in my running and it also is a thrilling sport to participate in.
I have enjoyed running since about the seventh grade when I began running track and field. I started taking running seriously once I began high school, but it was still fun to me.
Malika: I enjoy running cross country because it's a lot different from the usual middle distance that I run in track.
I have enjoyed running ever since I was young, but I really began to enjoy it when I began running track and field in the seventh grade. I started taking running more seriously in the ninth grade.

What sort of condition/ training program do you utilize? Is there a tip for novice runners you can bestow?
Nashia: My conditioning consists of building my endurance and building my strength through various exercises with my sister, Malika. A tip that I can give to beginning runners is to ease into mileage to avoid injuries.
Malika: My conditioning/training program that I use consists of the same training as Nashia, which is building endurance and strength through various exercises. A tip that I can give to novice runners would be to stay positive during the training process because it all pays off in the end.

What do you think about when you run?
Nashia: I try not to think about anything when I run, but when I do, I think about maintaining my running form.
Malika: I also try not to think about too many things when I run, but I typically think about my running pace.

What's the hardest part of running for you?
Nashia: The hardest part of running for me is staying relaxed in challenging races.
Malika: The hardest part of running for me is trying to stay as consistent as possible during different races.

What are you future plans? Do you hope/plan to run in college or study somewhere after high school?
Nashia: My sister and I plan on continuing our running career in a four-year college around the northern area of the country. I also plan on studying journalism in the college that I will attend.
Malika: My future plans are to run cross country and track and field in a collegiate program. Although my university choice is undecided, I plan on majoring in pre-law and specifically studying political science.