Taylorsville High Seniors Qualify for Cross Country State MeetDec 10, 2015 09:17AM ● By Jessica Thompson
By Jessica Thompson
Taylorsville - Taylorsville High’s Vicky Nguyen and Ryan Colby ran a three-mile race up steep hills and around lakes at the Cross Country 5A State meet at beautiful Sugar House Park on Oct. 21. Both Nguyen and Colby have qualified for the state meet twice before, but this time it was different. This year they are seniors with their last chance at running in the state meet.
Colby felt running with some of the best people in the state was a great honor. Qualifying for the meet for Nguyen was a dream come true.
“I knew that if I wanted to qualify, I would need to work harder than I had been at practices and needed to push myself. When I found out I qualified, I nearly cried. I am so grateful that I was able to run at state meets all three years of my cross country seasons,” Nguyen said.
Running is not everyone’s favorite activity, but the teammates at Taylorsville High’s Cross Country team have learned amazing life lessons from their time running long distance races.
“I have learned discipline and continuous hard work from running cross country. When I first started running, I was a sophomore and I was not really willing to practice every day. Eventually, I realized if I wanted to improve I needed to get determined and give it everything I had, every day,” Colby said.
Both Nguyen and Colby have a love and respect for their teammates. Their Coach, Guy Mackay, commented on the fact that the highlight of the cross country season was watching the students enjoy being around each other and how they treat each other with respect. Colby feels the community of cross country is based on the support they give each other even if they aren’t on the same team.
“My teammates are the hardest working and most loving people I have ever met. I have teammates that always encourage me no matter how good or bad of a race I have. I wouldn’t have been able to have such a great season without their support,” Nguyen said.
Mackay was very pleased with how his team ran their cross country season.
“All of the runners improved tremendously through the season. Most of the kids cut anywhere from one minute all the way to five minutes off their times from the beginning of the season. They are all truly great individuals,” he said.
Mackay was particularly impressed with Ryan Colby as he placed third in the region meet. “A race is as hard as you make it. Running at the State meet was very challenging, but also very rewarding. There is nothing like that feeling of accomplishment when you cross that finish line,” Colby said.
Along with running at the state meet, Nguyen was also voted to the Academic All-state team along with teammate Casey Rasmussen. The recipients for this award from the 5A classification had an average GPA of 4.0 and needed to be a part of the cross country team.
“It was exciting to receive an award with a group of people who are smart and talented. It’s an extreme honor and blessing to be able to represent Taylorsville with this award,” Nguyen said. “You may feel scared and nervous before the race begins, but once the gun goes off, you will slowly start to adapt. Sometimes you encounter up hills and downhills or feel like giving up, but no matter what challenges you face along the course, you need to have a determined mind, be positive, and stay strong. It has taught me to never ever give up until I have crossed the finish line.”