By: Grace Ludema
Senior Ellen Young has been running for the Varsity Cross Country and Track team her entire high school career. She started running for Girls on the Run in 4th grade and found a love for it the year she started. There are many reasons why she loves running on these teams but the biggest is her teammates.
“ My teammates are like a second family! They’re all super great and sweet and I would probably not stick with cross country if I didn’t have them. I could go to practice and be having a bad day, but when I’m with them, it gets better,” Ellen explains. Over the years she has made many tight bonds with her teammates. This bond makes them encourage each other to work harder and improve their times. The girls varsity Cross Country team together has beaten some teams that they were seeded to lose to. “Everyone,” she says, “even the non scoring runners, are making improvements, and that’s exciting.” The girls cross country team placed 1st at their past invitational at Lowell.
Ellen has been suffering with plantar fasciitis for a while and now is wearing a boot during the day to make it feel better at practice or meets. She says she is used to running with hurting feet but some days are better than others. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation in the tissue on the bottom of the foot that connects your heel bone to the toes. This causes intense pain for her and it is hard getting the times she is capable of. “Personally, I’ve not been doing as well as I had hoped. I’m hoping to change that, though, because we still have about a month and a half left of our season!” she says. With her teammates and her own encouragement she is able push through mental and physical pain to progress into achieving personal goals.
This is Ellen’s last year running for Hamilton’s varsity cross country team, she plans to run after she graduates but she most likely won’t be running for a school. “Running’s a habit, and it’s nice to just get out and go for a run. Also, if I’m stressed or frustrated, going for a run actually makes the situation easier to deal with. Hopefully I can run without my feet killing me. That’s always the goal.”