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Catherine ‘The Spark’ Holbrook

Jeffrey Sides

Jeffrey Sides

Peyton Barish and Noe Brady

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Catherine Holbrook is starting out her senior year XC season strong, returning as a consistent presence in the top 7. She is the only senior currently in the top 7 and has also played basketball and soccer for Green Hope in the past. Catherine’s 5k personal best is 19:35.46, making her an All-Conference and Academic All-Conference runner last season. Green Hope’s young girls team has looked to her as a leader this season, as she looks to establish herself among the state’s best.

 

How does it feel being the only senior in the top 7 on women’s XC?

Answer:  “Sometimes I feel like I always have to be serious, like I can’t joke around with the girls as much, but it also pushes me to work harder because you are supposed to be the best when you are the oldest.”

Do you want to continue your running career after high school? And if so where?

Answer:  “Yes I do want to continue my running career after high school at the collegiate level because I really do enjoy running, just because it’s different than the sports I have done in the past.  I like being able to control how fast I run and how good I am.  In soccer, even if I was better than someone else I may not have started over them, but in cross country if you beat someone you are better than them.”

Are you planning to finally run track this year? Why or why not?

Answer:  “I go back and forth.  Playing Green Hope soccer was the best time I ever had, the atmosphere was more momentous I guess.  Getting hyped up for soccer and getting hyped up for running are two very different things.  Having your peers be a part of your success outside of the sport is a magical thing to think of.  If we score everyone is excited, but with running you do it until you’re done and then it’s over.  That said, I do plan on running track because it is important for college recruitment.  Even if I do play soccer this spring I will probably end up doing some track meets this spring and training on the side.”

How does XC compare to the other sports you play?

“Cross country is definitely more painful both mentally and physically.  Cross Country is a team sport, but at the same time it really isn’t.  There is no physical contact in cross country, which is very different from every sport I have played in my lifetime.  Being in a game is hard and takes a lot of effort, but your mind is occupied the entire time, which to me makes it easier to push harder even when you are tired.  This creates more responsibility in cross country because once a race starts, regardless of whether I’m running well or running poorly my coach can’t just sub me out, but in soccer if I’m performing at a low standard my coach has the ability to pull me.”

What have you learned since you joined the team last year?

“I’ve learned that running is a lot harder than it looks.  I’ve learned that if you want to be good it is up to you to push yourself because no one else can make you good.”

Is it hard being a leader on the team without many other seniors?

“Yes it is hard.  Sometimes it is hard because I don’t feel like I have as much to relate to because we are a younger team.  I haven’t been on the team as long as other seniors, so I don’t have as much experience as a typical senior would.  There are times when I feel like I’m the bad guy because I am the only captain present at practice right now, and the only senior captain.”

Have you faced any challenges throughout your XC career?

“I did get a stress fracture last year the week before states as a result of playing soccer and running cross country.  This year I decided not to play club soccer to focus on running, and just see what happens.”

How has Coach Collins leaving and getting a new coach affected your running?

“Coach Collins was more intimidating possibly because he was a male authority figure that would push us past our limits, and made us better in the process.  He was hard on us, but he wanted us to be the best runners that we could be.  Coach Ross is more relatable and easier to talk to about personal things.  I would not be afraid to talk to her if something was bothering me.  She graduated from Green Hope so she understands the expectations around the program, and also had Collins as a coach.”

What has been your favorite part of your two years on the team

“My favorite part has definitely been the girls, and being a part of something that is bigger than me. I was new to the program last year, and I felt like I was a little behind in terms of running experience. One of my favorite parts is actually not being the best runner on the team, which is strange, but I like having someone who pushes you and makes you a better runner.  Those are the people that make the little things like hanging with Samantha Kolor for an entire workout more enjoyable and more desirable.  It pumps me up whenever I beat someone who is supposed to finish in front of me whether that’s a workout or a race.”

What are your goals for the rest of the season?

“My goal is to break 19 by a good amount. The team goal is to obviously win states, which is a bit of an ambitious goal, but one I think can truly be accomplished with the right training and work ethic.”

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The Official Student News of Green Hope High School
Catherine ‘The Spark’ Holbrook