Claire Meyer makes her third dash to state

Abby Ong, Feature Editor

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Feet hitting the ground and arms swinging at her side, she paces herself to steadily build speed as she runs.

Junior Claire Meyer began cross country her freshman year and soon became a great runner, making it to state for the 5K her freshman, sophomore, and junior year.

“She became one of our top runners right away as a freshman,” head coach Rita Gonzales said. “And she has now learned race pace and how important nutrition is- you know, what she eats and drinks. She’s more experienced, and I think the experience has helped her race better.”

Despite all the time Meyer dedicates to cross country, she doesn’t find it too difficult to balance with life and school.

“It’s not too hard,” Meyer said. “You gotta wake up early for practices in the morning, but I’m a morning person so it’s fine. I run as well after school so getting home late is sometimes a struggle, but it’s okay, it works out. We get a study hall period so it’s fine.”

In addition to the work Meyer puts in with her team after school, the practices with the school team also take a lot of work.

“Depending on the day, sometimes we do intervals or sometimes it’ll be long run,” Meyer said. “On intervals’ day we’ll get to practice, you’ll do a mile warm up, then we do dynamic stretches. Then, you get to the workout and you just do whatever the workout may be.

Meyer works hard every time she goes running.

“It’s a good feeling because you’re working hard and pushing yourself,” Meyer said. “But it’s also difficult because it hurts, but it’s fun and I enjoy it.”

Meyer’s skill with running comes from both natural talent and hard work.

“She’s naturally gifted, but she doesn’t back down from a challenge,” junior Gage Haden said. “Being naturally gifted helps, but that’s not going to take you anywhere if you don’t put it to good use and she makes the best of it.”

For Meyer, the most important thing is enjoying herself while running.

“If you don’t enjoy running, if you dread it every time you go to practice, you’re not going to perform well and it’s just not going to be fun,” Meyer said. “So you have to actually want to do better and want to work out.”

Since she began cross country, Meyer has grown both physically and mentally.

“Running definitely helps with your work ethic,” Meyer said. “It makes you realize you have to work for things and it’s not just going to happen, so my mindset has changed a little bit.”

Gonzales enjoys spending time coaching Meyer in cross country.

“She’s very coachable, very low-key, and always in a good mood and smiling,” Gonzales said.

Meyer’s friends also admire her, both for her work with cross country and because of her personality.

“She’s a hard worker and she does over the top in everything,” Haden said. “If it’s grade, if it’s cross country, it could be social, whatever it is, she goes 110% all the time and it’s impressive.”

Her friends also find that Meyer is a good person to be around.

“She’s extremely talented,” junior Kristen Ham said. “She’s probably one of the sweetest people I know, and she’s just overall a really fun happy person.”

Haden’s favorite memory of Meyer shows how she’s good example for others to follow.

“We were running freshman year and we were in a big group, because cross country is a big team,” Haden said. “I tripped and fell into a brick wall, and she stopped even though she needed to run and helped me to not be left behind.”

 

STRETCHING FOR GOLD: Claire Meyer stretches as she gets ready to train and push herself to succeed. This is the third year Meyers has made it to state and she plans on making it again. PHOTO BY Austyn Keetly

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