Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Road to State: Nicole Favre

DSC_0780What isn’t Nicole Favre good at?   

Take one look at her Saturday schedule and you will find a morning run, tennis, followed by an evening of rock climbing.  She is a competitive gymnast, made the girls’ soccer team and sings in the choir.  All this on top of carrying a 4.14 GPA and being active in her youth group at church.  Oh yeah, and last track season she qualified for the WCAL final in the Junior Varsity 400 meters.    

So perhaps it should be no surprise that cross country has become another thing she excels at. Not that it has come naturally; she has put in the work.  For much of the season Nicole has worked with Coach Cal McNabb as part of the speed group, a dedicated crew of individuals who are gifted with those fast twitch muscle fibers that makes distance runners envious.  Working her speed and strength she also found that she enjoyed the longer runs.  She performed well in the team time trial, but it was following the Early Bird Invitational where she finished the three mile course in 21:45 as the Warriors fourth runner that really put her on the radar.

Farve continued to blossom, improving every race and has now worked her way up to being a major contributor for the Warriors earning recognition on the team’s All-Time lists.  

DSC_0431“I had no idea I would be going to state with the girls varsity team when I first started cross country this season,” Farve said, reflecting on her expectation coming into this season.  “I didn't even consider the possibility of being good enough to join the varsity team until the coaches talked to me...  I had just been running for fun.”  

Farve’s biggest race of the season came when it mattered most: the CCS Championship.  She ran aggressively and the gamble paid off with a breakthrough performance that saw her finish the hilly Crystal Springs course in 20:22, one of the all-time best marks in school history.

However, she is quick to put things in perspective. “Going into the race I didn’t want to hold back,” Farve said, reflecting on her breakthrough race at CCS.   “I mainly just want to focus on enjoying the experience and running for my team, my coach, and my God.”

As a first year runner it is imperative to have experienced leadership there to guide you along the way, it is easy to feel lost amongst the masses.  She found that guidance and mentorship in this year’s upperclassman.  “Jessica and Karen really took me under their wings from the start of my varsity journey, they inspire me how consistent they are and always push harder at practice and during races.  Ashley is a major blessing to our team, despite the fallbacks she's gone through with her ankle; she continues to get back at it and is extremely focused and driven.”  

The State Meet is a big deal for this first time runner.  “It means a lot considering this is only my first year of actual long distance running. I wouldn't have made it without this team, so I feel blessed to be running with such a great group of girls.” 

“A big highlight for me this season has been the away meets and the team bonding that happened at each of them. I had a ton of fun this year with them all, and I'm so glad I decided to do cross country this year!”

Nicole will compete in her first California State Championship along with the Varsity Girls on November 30 at Woodward Park in Fresno.

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