Freshman Gracie Gibbs stands in to be honored for her hard word and dedication over the cross country season.
Freshman Gracie Gibbs stands in to be honored for her hard word and dedication over the cross country season.
Kailyn Williams

Face of the Game – Gracie Gibbs

Coaches across Texas High athletics choose standout players from the season

The alarm blares at 5 a.m., marking the start of the day for Texas High’s early-rising cross-country runners. She laces her running shoes and prepares for another long, taxing practice. Freshman Gracie Gibbs starts on the trail with her team, only thinking of bettering herself and her team.

“Gracie Gibbs is a great kid,” cross country coach Danielle Aubrey said. “She never complains, she always works hard. She is exactly what you would want as an athlete.”

Coming into high school as a freshman, people struggle to find a place they can call home. For Gracie, she found a home swiftly, continuing into cross country from her middle school and childhood years. 

“I run cross country because I’ve always enjoyed running since I was little,” Gibbs said. “I started running cross country in middle school, and it was always just fun for me.”

With the team spending so much time together, the dynamic between teammates grows past more than just an athletic program but a family.

“My favorite part about cross country is probably the people and practices,” Gibbs said. “We all talk to each other while we run, it’s like we are all suffering together. It sort of takes some of the pain away.”

Gracie has grown to be confident and pushes her pace every week. I can’t wait to see what the next three years bring for her as an athlete.

— Head cross country coach Danielle Aubrey

With most practices beginning at 6 a.m., going in with a happy mindset is difficult. The team focuses on making their good energy. 

“We make our practices very upbeat,” Gibbs said. “Everyone encourages everyone, there’s never any negative energy. No one judges anyone. Whether you’re slow or fast, someone will be right there cheering you on.”

With any sport that has pros, of course, come the cons. For Gracie, meets stir up emotions that are difficult to settle.

“My least favorite part about running cross country is the nerves I get for meets,” Gibbs said. “They don’t go away until the race is over and I cross the finish line.”

Any sport is mentally taxing. Running, though, pushes your body to different levels, and there are no timeouts to clear your head if you get in a bind. It’s just you, your mind, and the trail until the race ends. 

“I try to stay mentally tough through races by just thinking about the fact that everyone is going through the same thing. It’s not just me,” Gibbs said. I try to focus on how I can get better compared to everyone else. It’s like I make it a competition in my own head.”

Cross country is more than just running, it’s heavy on the mental aspect of life. 

“Running cross country helps me in more than just athletics, but in life in general. Running is so hard because you always want to stop,” Gibbs said. “In cross country, you have to just tell yourself why you’re running and remind yourself who you’re doing it for. That’s helpful in life to keep pushing yourself even when you’re down or tired.”

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About the Contributor
Kailyn Williams
Kailyn Williams, Sports Editor
Kailyn Williams is a third-year senior member of the newspaper staff and Sports Editor. She is an overachieving perfectionist, who doesn’t like failing. She is a member of the varsity volleyball and softball team and likes to maintain straight A’s.

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    Cathy J GibbsOct 17, 2023 at 12:10 pm

    I am so proud of this young lady. She is person of courage and determination. God Bless You