Freshmen Ella Jacobs has come out strong this season with a positive attitude and fast times as girls cross country’s first runner.
Following in her sister senior Claire Jacobs’ footsteps, Ella trained with her sister throughout the summer to get ready for the season. “[Claire’s] been the biggest influence for running [and joining the team],” she says.
So far Jacobs has had great success as she is the girls team’s fastest runner, bringing some attention to the team. Last week Jacobs appeared on the MOCO Running’s top rankings for the first time. Being proficient at a sport is not something Jacobs is used to so she said it has come with some pressure but has motivated her to set and reach higher goals.
Both Head Cross Country coach Andrew Brodeur and social studies teacher and assistant Cross Country coach Stephanie Staub first noticed Jacobs’ potential through her positive attitude and dedication towards running. “She’s got a great spirit,” says Brodeur. “Anything that we are doing, she’s very positive about it. It’s a really good running mentality to have—that can-do-it-all mentality. It’ll take you very far in this sport.”
Jacobs has also displayed a willingness to grow that sets her apart from previous runners and her current teammates. “Sometimes people can be very independent, they just kind of want to do their own thing but she . . . goes along with [what we tell her to do]; she’s really responsive to any direction we give her,” says Staub.
Although Jacobs is not the first freshmen to come out this strong, Staub expressed that Jacobs’ openness to guidance will lead her to greater improvement throughout the next four years than previous runners.
Jacobs expressed that she has enjoyed meeting new people and building relationships with her team. Despite being the fastest girl as a freshmen, she has experienced support and excitement from her teammates for her success. “I’ve bonded more with this team than I have with any other team,” she says.
In addition to a great team dynamic, Jacobs finds that cross country is a great way to end her day. “When [I’ve] been sitting down all day . . . It’s really great to have a place to go [and get my] . . . thoughts out at the end of the day,” she adds
In terms of the future, both of her coaches say they see a bright one. Although it has only been a few months coach, Brodeur says Jacobs’ ceiling is high. “It’s going to take a lot of work and time but I think she’s really invested into it and she wants to do well,” adds Brodeur.