Paige Haynes breaks cross country records

Maya Calderon, Staff Writer

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Breaking records and winning invitationals, varsity runner Paige Haynes runs to represent.

“Paige is our number one runner on our varsity squad,” said Karen Candaele, head coach of the Varsity Girls Cross Country team.  “She has been an example of dedication and work ethic.”

With a personal and school record of 16 minutes, 27 seconds, Haynes holds the record for the fastest girl at Vista Murrieta.  She achieved this time on a three-mile course at the Woodbridge Invitational this year.  Haynes has won for her Cross Country team at both of this year’s league meets.  Not only did she run and win in league, but she also won at the Laguna Invitational, which took place in September.  These wins have been beneficial to the team, but they did not come without a challenge.

“My biggest challenge in Cross Country has been overthinking workouts or runs, and having confidence in myself,” Haynes informed.  “To overcome these, I’ve stopped thinking about [them], and I’ve just ‘ran them’ without any expectations.  I’ve stopped dwelling on the workouts that weren’t my best.”

I love this sport and couldn’t imagine my life without it.”

— Paige Haynes

In addition to maintaining a positive mentality, Haynes must commit to many hours of practices and meets.  Every B day, she meets with the team at 7:00 a.m., running through first period; on A days, she runs for about three hours after school with her team.  These practices include seven-to-ten-mile-runs, workouts, drills, and stretches so that they can prepare themselves for their meets on Saturdays.  Although there are extensive time commitments and challenges for Haynes, she has a large support group to encourage her.  Family, friends, teammates, and coaches have motivated her throughout her running career, but she credits her mother for shaping her into the runner she is today.

“This sport has brought me many friends, and the Vista Cross Country team feels like a family to me.  Everyone is so proud and encouraging of one another.  It is such a positive environment to be in every day.”

Because of her experiences on the team and her love for the sport, Haynes plans on including Cross Country in her future.  After high school, she expects to go to college and pursue professional running post-graduation.

“I love this sport,” Haynes concluded, “and couldn’t imagine my life without it.”

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