C-Team runner remains dedicated for 4 years

Stephen Karst, Staff writer

Thursday, Oct. 14 is the cross country EKL race at Heritage Park. This is Sickle’s last race of her career.

Senior Julia Sickle is a four-year C-team cross country runner.
“I really love cross country, even though I’m not as good as some people,” Sickle said. “It’s great being able to go have fun with the team. It’s not a bad way to stay active either.”
Sickle said cross country runners form a tight-knit team, despite the idea that the sport is largely individual.
“My teammates are the best,” Sickle said. “I definitely could not run without them. Practice is a lot easier when you have people encouraging you and running beside you. I have gotten to make so many awesome friends. They’re really incredible.”
Coach Diana Huber said Sickle’s attitude benefits the entire team.
“Julia is a great person to have on the team,” Huber said. “She’s always in a good mood and trains hard. As a coach, I really appreciate the work she puts into this because not everyone can do this sport.”
Sickle said it is important to keep a competitive attitude no matter the skill level, otherwise the work can become tiring, tedious and boring.
“It doesn’t always seem like cross country is very intense and I’m not super aggressive, but when it comes to meets I’m really fired up,” she said. “I don’t want to let my teammates down and I want to push myself to get good times. One of the best feelings is after you run a good race.”
Huber said she encourages each runner to compete at their highest level to benefit themselves and the rest of the team.
“I tell the team a lot that, I can give you the tools, workouts and suggestions, but it is up to you to do your best every day – not just on the hard ones,” Huber said. “You must help push your teammates and be pushed on the days where you might have slacked in the past. Julia does a good job of that.”
Senior captain Ben Gaede said he, as well as the rest of the team, can see the hard work Sickle puts in every day at practice and meets.
“One of the things I like most about Julia is that she works really hard at practice,” he said. “It helps the rest of the team because when we see one person giving it their all like that it makes you want to, too.”
Sickle said she takes pride in being on the team. She said she loves knowing she did well once her race is over.
“It feels good after the season’s over because you know you worked hard for what you earned,” she said. “I think I’ll probably miss running someday after the season’s over.”