The cross country race is long with winding roads. The track barrier is imposing with a hazardous water jump.
Welcome to the world of GCC multi-sport athlete Phoebe Forsyth.
In her lovely English accent, Phoebe patiently explains what it is like to be a cross country runner in the fall, a returning All-American track athlete in the spring and a young woman humbled and grateful to be the captain of the No. 1 ranked cross country team in the state.
“I think about how fast three years has gone by since I first took up running in high school and I can’t believe how time has passed and where I am now,’’ she said after practice recently. “GCC has a tremendous tradition and reputation for its running program and I want to do everything I can to maintain that and I think we have a great chance to achieve great things this season.’’
The 2019 GCC Women’s Cross Country Season has been a great season indeed.
Heading into Saturday’s meet Oct. 19 at the Highlander Invitational U.C. Riverside, the Lady Vaqs are ranked No. 1 in the state and Southern California and are undefeated in races against other community colleges and finish strong at invitationals against four-year schools. On Oct. 25 in San Luis Obispo, the women will be going after its 15th straight WSC Title before racing in the So. Cal and state championships Nov. 8 in San Diego and Nov. 23 in Fresno.
For her part as captain, Phoebe said she loves the team dynamic this year and especially because her sister, Lydia, is part of the team as a freshman. She has a 3.4 GPA and intends on becoming a teacher because she said her instructors and coaches have had such a big impact on her life.
Speaking of impact, Phoebe laughed when talking about her surprising assent as one of the top steeplechasers in the state last years, a grueling 7 1/2 lap event with multiple barrier jumps including the dreaded water hazard that caused her extreme peril at the 2018 state meet.
“I dislike running long, long distances in track so the steeplechase was rather perfect for me with the barrier jumps and everything,’’ said Phoebe who was the WSC and Southern California Champ in the event last year. “So at the state meet, I mistimed the water jump and fell flat on my face in the water early in the race and all I can remember is getting up with Coach Lopez’s yelling get up, get up and I managed to gather myself to finish second despite all that happened.’’
With three of the biggest meet of the season left and the opportunity for the Lady Vaqs to finish as one of the best teams in school history, head coach Lopez shared a comment that is short and sweet about his top female runner. “Phoebe is an outstanding student/athlete, she is the leader of our cross country team, they have been ranked number one in the state all season long.’’