By Riley Segal
Freshman Elizabeth Bock broke six of seven personal records of experienced varsity runners during her first varsity competition at SPHS. Bock’s competitive nature drove her to push her boundaries and put hard work into the way she trains and competes, leading to her being moved up from the JV team. She was the lead runner for South Pas, and garnered third place overall in her first varsity race.
The following competition, she delivered another strong performance, and was the second runner for the Tigers, placing ninth out of 44 runners. She earned fourth out of 115 runners in the prestigious Mt. SAC Invitational.
“I’ve always been a very competitive person, so that desire to win really drives me to do my best,” Bock said.
Bock’s passion for cross country began in sixth grade when she joined the SPMS team. She previously considered herself a sprinter, but her parents convinced her to try it for the first time. The middle school team allowed her to learn how to pace herself during a race, and realize that she had a lot of potential.
“Soon after I started cross country I realized it was something I really loved,” Bock said. “Nothing compares to that sense of accomplishment after running nine miles and feeling on top of the world.”
Bock’s motivation developed over time, changing from friendly competition to giving her best for the team. This determination fuels her to continue to want to win for her team, and she attributes a portion of her success to the team dynamic. Although many consider cross country an individual sport, but Bock feels that it is equally a team sport, and that because she’s on a team, she wants to succeed to make them proud.
“Having friends on the sidelines and my teammates running in front or behind me really pushes me to run faster. Everyone in the race helps each other push themselves to the finish line so the whole team will have a better score,” Bock said.
Bock plans on joining the track team in the spring and hopes to maintain her firm determination for future races.