Hard work pays off

Katherine Eli

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Determined- VonGierke makes it through the first mile of her race. As her team mates cheer her on from the sideline; she makes it one step closer to the finish line.

As the cross country season comes to a close, freshman Sofia VonGierke reflects on her first season running cross country. A sport that takes a great amount of mental and physical strength. It may not be the best fit for most athletes, but VonGierke was ready to challenge her athleticism.

Having never ran competitively before VonGierke was placed on the Junior Varsity team. However, she was quick to earn her spot on varsity with a personal record of 22:02 minutes for a 3-mile race.

“At the begging of season, for the first few races I raced with freshman and sometimes JV, and then I was moved onto varsity for the rest of the season to compete with girls on a more serious level,” VonGierke said.

Competing on the varsity level required much more effort that was put in at practice. Running these long distances can seem overwhelming, but with determination and a positive attitude, it can be accomplished.

“The effort I put in at practice really effected my performance during races and made the future workouts seem less hard because my body was getting used to going that speed and distance,” said VonGierke.

This first season has been a memorable one for VonGierke. Her most memorable moments included; summer camp practices, bus rides to races, and team dinners. Although the season highlight for VonGierke was her first race on Varsity.

“My first varsity race was also very memorable because I was very nervous leading up to the race and thought I was going to finish last, but running with the Varsity girls at a faster pace only increased my skill,” said VonGierke.

Cross country has taught VonGierke valuable lessons and has given her a greater sense of determination that has helped her throughout high school.

“Cross country has taught me that your team really does turn into your family and that if you put your mind to something and work hard it really shows, and pays off,” said VonGierke.