John Marshall Cross Country Showing What it Means to be a Team

Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 11:42 AM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Starting is the hardest part, just ask Abi Tri.

“So nerve-wracking cause you’ve got all these people lined up and then you’re all like getting ready to start and then it’s like this tunnel where you all go in this small area,” Tri said.

Specifically for Tri the most recent start at the Luther Invitational was a difficult one as she was dealing with anxiety.

“Every race I feel like it gets so nerve-wracking cause I feel like I have to do well, I have to beat my PR from last year or whatever. Feeling that you just don’t want to race cause you feel like you’re going to let everyone down.”

The freshman got out to a slower start than normal and one of her teammates noticed.

“Abi always takes off like the first mile and I don’t see her for the rest of the race,” Ryana Mathis said.

“It was just a little, Oh what’s she doing back here with me she needs to be up there, she needs to go, she’s got this.”

As a senior leader and running buddy to Tri, Mathis gave a boost to her fellow Rocket.

“She kept snapping at me, ‘She’s like get up here, nope you’re not quitting.’ No matter what I was doing I’m like I really don’t want to do this and she’s like I don’t care you’re going come on right now. She was like sacrificing her time,” Tri said.

“I know that kind of how Abi works and it’s a little bit of everything, like a little bit of I know you got this you’re going to do amazing and a little bit of come on Abi you got this,” Mathis said.

An act of kindness that’s also inspired a conversation around mental health.

“I don’t think its necessarily talked about enough in high school sports as in college sports or professional sports just with the mental health. ‘Oh it’s like a high school sport, it doesn’t matter you’ll just do whatever’, but it’s important,” Mathis said.

“Athletes here they still feel the same way before a race, we all feel nervous, we all get jitters, we all are like super anxious to race, but people think that professional athletes like have it differently because they do a professional sport. But in reality its kind of all the same with your mental process,” Tri said.

Showing that being there and supportive can go a long way.

“When I finished my race, my whole team came up to me they were like giving me hugs and were like ‘You finished, I’m so proud of you, you finished.’ In that moment, I was like no one actually cares how I do, they just want me to be happy in my season,” Tri said.

“That was a big oh my gosh they don’t care, no one cares they just want to see me have fun with my sport.”