On a Wednesday morning at 5 a.m. most Park Hill South students are asleep in their beds, but Maggie Claassen, sophomore, has already run two miles, showered and gotten ready for school.
For Claassen, Cross Country has been a big part of her life. She ran for South as a freshman and plans to continue all four years with all her friends around her to support her.
“I like that all my friends are with me while running, it helps encouraging me to try my hardest and especially when I want to walk they push me not to,” said Claassen.
Even her teammates agreed that friendship is important.
“Doing XC really strengthened our friendship and her friendships overall. As a runner she works hard and is really supportive, even when she was injured and couldn’t run a lot she still came to team diners and our races,” said Maryann Ball, teammate.
While practices and times are important, races are really what’s really in the runner’s mind.
“My most memorable race was against Platte County and it had a lot of high hills. I also got a new personal record at that race, along with some of my friends,” Claassen said.
While she had a good season, before the last race, Claassen pulled her groin playing soccer and wasn’t able to compete in the last race of the season.
“I was so upset that I couldn’t compete in the last race, I saw all of my friends running and it just made me want to run more. I got really down about it for a while but i’m hopeful for the next season,” said Claassen.
Next season, while everyone sleeps, she will once again turn on her 5 a.m. alarm and lace up her shoes.