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Distance runner envisions Valley

While some parents seem confused how to control nonstop movement with that afternoon sugar rush, one found track channeled this energy and initiated a competitive drive.

“My expectations for Whitney (Chessum, ’08) are to go to Valley,” coach Ericlee Gilmore said. “Also to set the record in the mile and break her own record in the two mile.”

She participated in track and cross-country at Malloch Elementary since fourth grade. After three years of competing at the high school level she hopes to surpass personal and campus records.

“The thing I look forward to most this year is beating Doug (Daniel, ’10),” Chessum said. “I have never beat Doug and this is the year I will.”

Chessum’s passion for running seems to affect other areas in her life. She completed her second year of Academic Decathlon.

The team won first in Division II and she also earned an individual medal in Language in . She contributes her score to her presentation on track, for the speech portion of the Civil War theme competition.

“Track and AcaDec have many similarities and differences,” Chessum said. “They are both team efforts, even though they are individual events it still depends on how you do as a team. In both you are constantly practicing. While track works the body, AcaDec works the mind. ”

Along with competitive sports comes success and failure, this is no exception in track.

“My favorite moments in track are practicing with my teammates and getting to know them better,” Chessum said. “The worst memory was when I was injured and was only able to run 100 meters before I fell.”

Earlier this year Chessum participated on the cross country team. During the State Championships at Woodward Park, she set a school record of 21:20 on the 3.1 mile course and placed 64th out of 169 competitors.

“Whitney is the best girl distance runner on our team,” Daniel said. ” She is a better runner against girls than I am against guys.”

In addition to a drive to succeed, Chessum also appreciates the relationships she builds through sports.

“I enjoy running because it gets rid of stress,” Chessum said. ” It also makes me stronger and lets me get to know people from other schools. My mother forced me to go into a sports because she wanted school involvement. She always watches me. It makes me happy, when they take time out of their busy schedules to come watch me.”

Although Gilmore looks forward to watching Chessum progress, he also maintains confidence in the men on the team. Two years ago Wesley Wells,’06, won FC’s first boys’ medal in Valley Championship history in high jump.

“I am looking forward to the boys’ team,” Gilmore said.” It is a large team and the talent is spread out between the events. It will be good to see how we do in league.”

Gilmore believes the team’s strength is in perseverance, which Chessum displays at every practice.

“I was surprised in how high I placed,” Chessum said. “I encourage people to join. Many people think you join to get in better shape, which it does help with. You stay healthy and live longer, but it’s really fun too.”

The track and field team will next run in the annual jog-a-thon, March 12.

For more information on Whitney, visit Track and field sport shorts, 2008, Cross country sport shorts, 2007 or the video section on the home page.

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  • S

    Stephen GrimesFeb 5, 2010 at 6:48 am

    That was BY FAR the loudest our gym has ever been! We definitely had TRUE home field advantage.

  • A

    Alexandra FreaFeb 5, 2010 at 6:48 am

    I had only watched one of the girls’ volleyball games before and the stands were close to empty. However, this time when I went to the game, the Nut House was packed with screaming fans.

    There was never a moment when the gym was silent. It was a really exciting game and the school was really spirited. When I finally got to the silence of my car, I could hear my ears ringing.

    Congrats and good luck Eagles!

  • G

    Geena StobbeFeb 5, 2010 at 6:48 am

    I wasn’t able to be at the game, but my husband text me a play-by-play account of the final game. I couldn’t believe it. WOW! Congratulations to the girls’ varsity volleyball team.

    What a great story of a team wanting the win and absolutely playing their hearts out to get it. You girls are amazing!

    This is a fabulous picture too! It totally captures the excitement and the fervor of the moment. Not a single player’s foot is actually on the ground. You can almost hear the jubulant screams and laughter!

    Good luck in SLO!

  • M

    Maddie YeeFeb 5, 2010 at 6:48 am

    The girls did an awesome job last night! I had never gone to see a volleyball game before this, so it was a lot of fun. I sat in the Nut House and cheered until I lost my voice.

    Not only was it cool to see the volleyball team, but also to be school spirited.

  • J

    Jeremiah BrownFeb 5, 2010 at 6:48 am

    This was so crazy. To be honest, I doubted them after they lost the second game, but they proved me wrong. Congrats ladies.

  • C

    Cassidy HutchinsFeb 5, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Last night’s game was AMAZING! After the second game, I honestly thought we were going to lose. I thought sure we’d win 1 maybe 2 of the next games but I had no idea we would come back and take Kings in 3!

    Way to dig deep and show some character and playing all out. We really got over a big barrier and I could not be more proud of how far we’ve come. And thanks also to our awesome nut house! The crowd was so amazing and it definitely was one highlight to the night. Lets take it to Mission tomorrow!