Q&A with girls’ cross country athlete Casey Crosson ’17


Casey Crosson competes in a track and field event in a recent meet. Credit: Emily Rahhal/Chronicle.

Eli Adler

How did you start running? How long have you been
running? What distances?

I started on the track team in seventh grade, but I didn’t do cross country until eighth grade and didn’t really begin to take it seriously until ninth grade. I just did it because I always liked to run in elementary school, so I tried track out, and soon realized that I was better at longer distances, which is why I also joined cross country. I run both the 1,600 and 3,200 meters, but I like the 3,200 more because I like running long distances.

What made you want to pursue it more seriously, and when?

I took it somewhat seriously in ninth grade, but at the end of ninth grade, I decided I really wanted to make varsity and be a contributing member. The thing was that varsity cross country had a really strong cap of only seven varsity runners, and only the top five of those seven score. I really wanted to contribute more to the team, so decided I was going to train as much as I could to be the best contributing member that I could be.

Why do you like running long distances more than short distances?

I initially liked it because it is very stress-relieving and you can do a lot of thinking when you’re running those longer distances. I also like that you get out of it exactly what you put in to it. There is really a difference between the kids who are really half-committed and run 10 miles a week, compared to the kids who are really consistent, run 60 miles a week and really try their best. Those runners will see the result. I feel like it might be a little more obvious in long distance, because in sprints you can improve by one second, and that is a big deal, but it isn’t as fulfilling as breaking your two-mile personal record by 30 seconds.

What is your training/practice regimen like, both in season and out of season?

It all starts in the summer, where we practice four times a week, but we run every day on our own from July on. During cross country season, it’s the same: seven days a week, but with morning practices two days a week where we also lift. After cross country season, we reset for a bit and rebuild our mileage. Now track season is the same, with every day running and then lifting and swimming.

What do you do to prepare for meets? Any pre-meet rituals? What’s on the playlist?

The day before meets, we only run two miles easy so that we are pretty well rested, and I always get a good night of sleep. On meet day, since I don’t get that nervous anymore, it’s basically a normal day for me. I always drink a ton of water, and I eat a peanut butter sandwich, but I don’t like listening to music before meets.

Does your role differ between running with just cross country in the fall and with the entirety of the track program in the spring? How?

What I notice when we run with the sprinters is that distance runners are used to longer [races] with less rest, and so when we do these shorter [races] and a lot of them, the sprinters definitely push me, which is really encouraging. But I think the biggest change is that because I am more distance-oriented, I will be going the same speed on every single one, but sprinters can rally on that last one. They always destroy that last one, and so that really has made me push myself.