New Tech High @ Coppell senior Taylor Peltier committed to the State University of New York Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) for cross country on April 6. Peltier chose to go SUNY ESF, as she felt its program corresponded with her interests in conservation biology and ornithology (the scientific study of birds), as well as giving her the ability to continue her cross country career.
What made you decide to start cross country?
I have always loved running. It’s the best mode of transportation. I’ve never been a fan of walking, and running is just so fun. I love the challenge of it. I started cross country in elementary school at Bowman Elementary in Anchorage Alaska, and continued at Coppell Middle School East. Deciding to join the high school team was easy, and I’ve been running with them all four years.
What has made cross country memorable for you?
There have been a lot of many memorable moments in my high school career. Obviously, the successful moments stand out the most. Something I’ll never forget is when my team got first at the 2018 cross country state meet. I didn’t even run at that meet, I was an alternate and injured, but I’ll never forget the pure joy and pride I felt for those seven girls. Running has the ability to bring people really close together, so those girls weren’t just my teammates – they were my best friends, and that made it so much better. My teammates and friends have always been the ones who make running worth it, and exciting and memorable. It was them who I would run for during the hardest moments of a race.
What are you most excited about in regards to collegiate cross country?
Getting to bond with my new teammates. Sure, I’m excited to get some new [personal records] hopefully, run on new courses, and to be on a new training program, but I really can’t wait to be a part of their cross country family.
What made you decide to do cross country in college?
Going into senior year, I kind of just knew I wanted to continue running in college. I can’t imagine my life without it. There have been a few bumps in the road where I’ve questioned whether I really wanted to, and I was struggling with motivation, but at the end of the day, I know I love to run, and that’s what I want to keep doing.
What has been your hardest moment as a runner?
My hardest moment was probably dealing with injury. I have been injured quite a few times in the past four years and it sucks. The toughest one was when I got a stress fracture and had to stop my consecutive days; up until then, I had run at least one mile every single day for 622 days. It sucks when you can’t remember what it’s like to run without being in pain, but that’s all you want to do.
What does practice normally look like for you?
Normally, practice starts at 6:50 a.m. I drive to the parking lot, this year accompanied by my younger sister, and we meet in the hallway in the [CHS Field House]. [Coppell coach Nick Benton] will talk to us for a while, and then we’ll be released to warm up and start our workouts. Generally we do a half mile warmup and then leg swings and dynamics. Then, we group up, depending on our workouts, and start our runs. Afterwards, the girls team stretches and does abs and pushups together. Then, we fill out our logbooks, get a coach to sign them and go in to shower. Sometimes we have logbooks afterwards, where a teammate or coach will talk about a topic and we take notes.
How did being at New Tech influence your relationship with the team?
Going to New Tech doesn’t really change much about how I practice or interact with the team. Everyone always forgets that I don’t go to [Coppell High School]. I’m in the class period, so I stay the whole time, I just drive myself to New Tech after the period ends. I do miss out on seeing cross country friends in class, in the halls or at lunch, and that does make me a bit sad. But I see them plenty every morning and I hang out with them after school all the time, so I don’t miss much.
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