Girls Cross Country: Q & A With Gillian Willcox

What is your favorite part about cross country/running?

I think that my favorite part running is definitely the fact that it makes me feel more relaxed.  After I go for a run, I feel like I am more at peace and way less stressed.  No matter what is going on outside of cross country or track, running makes me feel better.

What do you like least about cross country or what do you find most challenging?

I think that the most challenging aspect of cross country is the mental aspect of it.  It is so difficult to run a race that is over 3 miles, especially if you have injuries that make running especially hard.

What would you say to the people that think cross country is not difficult or challenging?

To people who do not think that running or cross country are difficult or challenging, I think that they should try the sport. Initially, I thought that cross country wouldn’t be hard at all, however, after one day on the team, I knew that it would be more challenging than I first perceived.

What made you first join cross country?

I joined cross country at first because I really wanted to go into high school being involved with something. I wanted to make friends and be part of something bigger than myself, and I found that in the cross country team.

What was the best moment you have had in cross country this year or any other season?

I think that the best moment I’ve had running cross country the last four years was last year, when I ran against Somerville at our home course.  Somerville’s best runner and I were head to head the whole race, and pushed each other through the course.  However, I was able to beat her in the last 100 meters of the race, winning the race and helping our team win the GBL title that year.

What is the “team” aspect of the cross country team, what makes it a team and just individuals in a group?

I think that cross country is a team sport since we all have to  motivate each other during the race, as well as everything that leads up to it. At practice, it is important to help each other to finish workouts and do well as a team.

This is your last year running in cross country as you are a senior, how does it feel for this year to be your last year of running in your high school career?

Honestly, I don’t think that this has hit me yet.  I haven’t realized that this is my least year running or I only have a few meets left and then I am done.  I think that it is scary to think about it.  Running has been a massive part of my life for the last four years.  I’ve grown to love it a lot.  Due to this, I think that when it's all over, I will be a little lost.

What were your expectations/goals going into the season and do you feel you have met them?

I think that my expectations for this season have been met.  I wanted to end my senior year never losing a league meet in my whole high school career, which I have succeeded in doing.

If you hadn’t been in the cross country/track team, what sports team do you think you would have been a part of?

If I had not joined the cross country/track team, I don’t think I would have joined a sport.  I am extremely nonathletic. In fact, it is actually comical to watch me try and catch a ball or hit one.  I found a home in the cross country team and track team, and I cannot picture myself anywhere else.

After high school is over, do you think you will continue to run in college, just for yourself, or is it something you will stop after it’s over?

I hope that, after high school, I will run just for myself.  I know I will not compete after this year, but I think that I will always jog and use running to find the peace I’ve had in my life the last four years.

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