Girls Sports Profile: Gabby Sherwood

Girls Cross Country Captain reflects on the start of a successful season.


Thomas Melina Raab.

Coach Susan Ashton talks to girls varsity cross-country runners, giving them advice before their race on Sept. 14 at the Vista Ridge Invitational meet. Photo by Thomas Melina Raab.

Sarah Slaten, Sports Editor

The Shield: How long have you been doing cross country?

Gabby Sherwood: Since junior year. I started a full season junior year. I ran the district meet during freshman year, but that didn’t really count, and I ran on JV. But I joined last year as a junior, and I really liked it.

TS: And you’re captain now this year?

GS: Yes! I’m captain of the girls varsity team. Before the season started this year, I went to coach and told her that I would be interested in being a co-captain of some sort to lead the girls and encourage them. I really like it; it’s great to just be able to encourage younger girls because I’m one of the older people, and a lot of them are sophomores and freshman, so I just like being there for them and encouraging them, and leading them. It’s not really about being the fastest; it’s about being a good teammate. And I think I’ve been doing a good job.

TS: What’s your favorite part about cross country?

GS: I think my favorite part is definitely the community of people we have. It’s really hard to get up every morning at 5 a.m. and run, but the people there make it worth it because the people there are very encouraging. They always make me laugh. I think that’s my favorite part—the people.

TS: And you were training over the summer right? How did that go?

GS: It was definitely challenging, but actually summer practice really helps, the training, the three months of it, is a really helpful preseason because it takes a while to get used to running miles and miles and building up your endurance, and summer practices really helped with that. I also did extra stuff—every day I would go to cross country in the morning and then later I would do speed and strength and sprints, so that really helped me build up my strength from running.

I really like it; it’s great to just be able to encourage younger girls because I’m one of the older people”

— Gabby Sherwood

TS: Are you excited for this year?

GS: I am! We have a lot of great young runners; it’s going to be a very young team next year because a lot of seniors are graduating, but they all are fast and are natural runners, so hopefully they stick with it till their senior year.

TS: What’s your favorite part about the meets?

GS: They’re always really fun. I love getting to experience each new course because every race is different. So I try not to get discouraged if I have a bad race because maybe that course had more hills or was more rocky. But it’s great to have a solid girls varsity team because we’re there for each other and can push each other during the race.

TS: What is your favorite memory so far this year?

GS: Something that I enjoyed is that it’s become a tradition (started last year) that at practice the day before a meet, we do an easy run and ice baths, and it’s become a tradition that a parent and a runner will bring tacos and juice and fruit, so we get to enjoy our breakfast after an easy run. It’s just a fun activity, and I think it eases nerves about the meet the next day because we’re all talking and joking around and just having fun as a team.

Part of cross country is failure; you’re not always going to run your fastest race every meet; you’ll have set backs and injuries, but you have to keep pushing.”

— Gabby Sherwood

TS: How has the season been going so far?

GS: The season has been going pretty well. As a whole, we are growing as a team, and everyone is putting in a lot of effort at practices. Everyone had a rough race at the Hays meet this past weekend—personally, I was sick, and I know several of my teammates were injured or not feeling well. But it was just one race; I know that by the end of the season everyone’s hard work will pay off. I was pretty disappointed in my time this weekend (28:07) because it was the slowest time I’ve ever run. But I was sick, and I’m feeling better now so I’m trying to stay positive and look towards the next goal—the McNeil meet this Saturday. Part of cross country is failure; you’re not always going to run your fastest race every meet; you’ll have set backs and injuries, but you have to keep pushing.

TS: What are you doing as team captain?

GS: As a team, it’s that point in the season where it starts to get a little harder to come to practice; you start to feel a little more exhausted. I know that everyone else feels it, so as a captain I’m going to try my best to encourage everyone at practices and tell them I’m proud of them for keeping with it and not giving up.

BOTTOM: Senior captain Gabby Sherwood chases down other runners at the Lockhart Hippensteel Cross Country Invitational meet on Aug. 31. Photo by Thomas Melina Raab.