Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Road to State: Leia Wang

DSC_0708Leia Wang is the kind of person you build your team around as a coach. She puts in the work, dedicated throughout the summer and consistent throughout the season. Her character is one of sacrifice, always willing to put team above self.

Leia has displayed these traits from day one, no bigger example than last year’s RLS Relays. Missing a top 5 runner coaches approached Leia with an opportunity to step up and run on the varsity team. A runner fell ill and there was little time before the start of the race. It was a tall task for a freshman but with little hesitation she accepted the challenge and stepped into the unknown.

It was one of those moments coaches use to provide a platform for an athlete to succeed. An opportunity to step up; a test of sorts to determine if the athlete will rise to the occasion.

What resulted was an athlete seizing the moment and accepting the challenge head on, running a courageous race that helped the team win the large school division in a dramatic sprint to the finish. She seized the moment and squeezed out every second.

DSC_0886There was no question nor hesitation for this year's relay, Leia was on the team.  And once again she would come through for her team, this time running nearly a minute faster propelling her team to a team record, once again aiding her team in defense of their title that ended in a three way sprint to the finish!

Improvement was a common theme for the sophomore this season. She came into the start of cross country like she had something to prove.  She had a strong debut at the team time trial improving nearly a minute over the year prior finishing as the team's fourth runner.  The finish ranks her fifteenth all-time for the Warriors but more impressively was the encouraging results from a summer of dedicated training. Leia was running with a mission.

The trend continued into October and then November.  At the Clovis Invitational she improved 1:11 over the previous years’ time. She was a top finisher in the frosh-soph division at the WCAL season opener and was a top runner for the team at the Mt. Sac Invitational. She was called upon again at the WCAL Championship where the coaches relied on her consistency helping the team qualify for the State Championship.

With four seniors on the team Leia and her underclassman counterparts are the future of Valley Christian cross country.  Something her coaches are happy to build the team on.

Leia has qualified for her first California State Championship November 30 at Woodward Park in Fresno.  

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