One step at a time

Junior Tucker Stanley’s three-year journey on Jefferson’s cross country team.


Tucker Stanley runs the two mile at the 2019 VHSL 5C Region Indoor Track Championships, placing second in the region with a time of 9:55.

Andrew Chen, Staff Writer

Left. Right. Left. Right.

Junior Tucker Stanley first picked up running as a sport during his freshman year, when he joined Jefferson’s cross country team. Although he originally planned to play soccer in the spring, he soon found a stronger interest in running, continuing with cross country, as well as winter and spring track all the way to this year.

“I wanted to do a fall sport mainly because I wanted to get to know some people before the school year started. I actually wanted to do soccer, so I thought doing cross country would be a good way to stay in shape since I had done running in the past. It turned out that I really liked cross country and track, so I decided to stay,” he said.

Over the course of his journey, Stanley has faced many challenges, but has also learned much from the sport and the obstacles he had to conquer.

“The greatest challenge I had to overcome was when I got injured during my sophomore year. This was right before the regional cross country meet, so I was really disappointed that I couldn’t be there to run and support my teammates. I had to do physical therapy, but thankfully I was able to run again when the track season started.” he said. “I think I’ve learned a lot from this sport. I had to push myself both mentally and physically as far as I could and in doing so, I learned how to push myself to my limits.” he said.

However, there are just as many rewarding moments as there are challenging ones, which makes doing the sport all worth it.

“The most memorable moment I had was probably when our team finished second in the region this past season. I ran the 4x800m relay and the two mile. Our relay team qualified for states and I placed second in the two mile run. Since our entire team ran really well and a lot of people got personal bests at this meet, it was really rewarding for me to see our hard work paying off.” he said.

Running may be a demanding sport, but ultimately, Stanley finds the camaraderie and the friendships built during practice to be the most rewarding part of the sport.  

“I think my favorite part about track would be hanging out with the team before practice. Since we don’t start running until around five, there’s some time to just relax with teammates and friends. I’ve also grown to enjoy to push myself during races and to motivate the rest of the team to put in their best effort as well.”