This week on the Hot Seat, three-sport athlete Cara Cowser talks about recovering from ACL surgery, what's it like being a senior and her dream vacation spot. She suffered an ACL tear during a volleyball tournament last September and couldn't compete in volleyball or basketball during her junior year. Cowser, who will play volleyball and basketball this year, returned in March to compete for the Lady Blues track team, where she made it to regionals in the 100-meter hurdles.

Tori: What was it like recovering from ACL surgery?
Cara: The first week after you have surgery they're like, ‘you need to stay in bed all week.' I'm just like ‘I can't. I'm gonna be so bored.' It was really rough in the beginning. It was frustrating at times, but the main goal is to be able to walk and run and do everything that I was able to do before I tore it. Basically I was like, ‘I'm not gonna let this slow me down.'

T: Favorite athletic memory?
C: I think the one memory is when, my sophomore year, I finally made it to state for the 100-meter hurdles. That was a really big accomplishment for me because basically since junior high you're working up. Because everyone wants to get to the state level, that's what your main goal is. Looking back through, once you got to state, it was just like, ‘I can't believe that I actually made it here.' All of that hard work pays off so you can run at state. It was a really cool experience.

T: What's one thing you want to do during your senior year?
C: I think I really, because we're getting new coaches for volleyball and basketball, I want it to be a good experience for everyone. I want to be able to progress better than we have in the past.

T: What's it like knowing that you have one year left in high school?

C: It's really sad actually. You've spent your whole life with all these people that you've grown up to (know). This graduation, it was really hard watching because most of my friends were seniors. Of course I had a few junior friends too. But it's really hard knowing that (the seniors) weren't gonna be at school next year and you're the senior. I'm excited, but now it's sad because it's gonna end.

T: What did you spend your time doing growing up?
C: When I was growing up, I have an older brother and he's just a year older, so we always did boy things, but I never really did girl things. I mean, I had Barbies and stuff but I didn't really play with them because I had my brother to play with and we did mostly boy things. I guess I was a really big tomboy when I was little.

Read the full story in Wednesday's Graham Leader.