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Student Athlete of the Month: Maddy Drager, PHS Cross Country

Sep 06, 2019 08:13PM ● By Anderson Brown

Student Athlete of the Month: Maddy Drager, PHS Cross Country

By Anderson Brown

Cross country season is underway and Payson high school senior and team captain, Maddie Drager is already off to a good start, shaving two minutes off her time from last year. Coach Stan Peck says that Maddie is a success on and off the course.

 “Maddy is awesome,” Peck said. “She is a 4.0 student. She has been working hard all summer and is already almost two minutes ahead of her ending PR last year. She is liked by everyone and is one of the sweetest, thoughtful people that I know.”

 Maddy started running cross country last year during her junior year and says she enjoys it and that it’s also a challenge.

 “I started running cross country junior year,” she said. “This is currently my second year of cross country and I absolutely love it. I enjoy seeing my hard work pay off. My team is like another family to me. I love the scenic runs, and the feeling of accomplishment after a difficult run.”

 Running hasn’t always been easy for Maddy. Last year she had a spasm of her vocal cords, making it hard for her to breathe and even finishing a run. After working hard to control her vocal cords Maddy says she is finally overcoming it. She said that she is grateful for challenges.

 "If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you," she said. “Cross country isn't something that you wake up one day and say hey I want to run seven miles. You have to build up to it. Cross country is a challenge, but like anything it takes time to overcome that. Be patient with yourself. Celebrate every accomplishment big or small. Every step forward is a step in the right direction.

 Maddy says her goals for this season are to hit a 21 minute 5K, and to become a better team captain so that when her teammates need help, they will think of her. (Brown is a sophomore at Payson High School and lifelong soccer player. He enjoys learning about the athletic journeys of other student-athletes through writing this column.)