Hit the Ground Running

Senior Nicole Butler breaks school cross country record


Senior Nicole Butler runs for the cross country team, and holds school records for the 5K.

Her bib number hangs on for dear life, roughly pinned to her shirt by a frail little safety pin. She runs through the rain, persevering through sweat and tears for cross country, a sport that forces her to push herself.

Senior Nicole Butler placed second as an individual at Burroughs Park on Thursday, Oct. 15, qualifying her to go to the regional meet.

“Cross country is all about training every day, eating right and staying hydrated, especially the day before,” Butler said. “The hardest part is getting up every morning and forcing yourself to get your miles for the day in.”

Butler holds the school’s 5K record with a time of 19 minutes and 23 seconds, after her performance at the regional meet on Oct. 26.

“A goal of mine is to have a good track season next semester and keep improving,” Butler said. “I need to, if I want to continue running in college.”

Butler will receive a number of honors according to cross country coach Jennifer Gegogeine.

“She will be receiving the Academic All-State Award for Cross Country Coaches Association of Texas (CCCAT),” Gegogeine said. “She will also be receiving the Academic All-State Award for Texas Girls Coaches Association (TGCA).”

Senior Bradley Narvaez runs for the cross country team alongside Butler.

“She is really dedicated,” Narvaez said. “She’s always really consistent and hardworking.”

Cross country is a training sport that requires athletes to run every day, standing by the motto “hard work given time beats talent,” according to Gegogeine.

“To anyone who is considering joining or is just starting out in cross country, I would definitely say to not give up,” Butler said. “Most of us started out slow and unable to run very far, but if you keep with it then you’ll get better and better.”