Girls cross country team says goodbye to Ana Weaver

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Photo by Ella Gag

Senior Ana Weaver crosses the finish line of the 1 mile. Weaver completed a time of 5 minutes flat at her home track.

Ella Gag, Social Media Editor in Chief

“Running is basically my life. I mean, I eat, sleep and breathe running, ” senior Ana Weaver said. Weaver is finally approaching her final track season of her high school career. Weaver has stayed in the spotlight for the past four years by breaking records and obtaining countless awards; she also even received a full ride scholarship to Brigham Young University. 

Weaver has recently been awarded Gatorade Minnesota Girls Cross Country Player of the Year for the second time. This award recognizes outstanding athletic achievement in a company with academic achievement and leadership on and off the field. Not only did she receive Gatorade Player of the Year, she also received the Athena Award. The Athena award recognizes athletic and academic excellence. Weaver is able to obtain a high GPA while setting records in the meantime.

Weaver explained the awards she received put in place that hard work does pay off and that she has a huge support system that she is grateful for. 

Weaver began to train with the boys team under Scott Christensen, who is known to train champions. Christensen has high intensity workouts which intrigued Weaver. On the boys team, Weaver is around the sixth or seventh runner so it pushes her to be better and improve every day at practice. Boy runners are normally given most of the attention when it comes to successes, but having Weaver practice with the boys team has given both the boys and girls motivation to improve. 

“It showed our boys that you know what, females are every bit of an athlete,” Christensen explained.

Weaver has accomplished many milestones in the past four years. Weaver holds the state record in the 5k race as she ran a 16:42.6 time at Forest Lake Middle School in the fall of 2020. She wiped out the previous record set of 16:55 by Emily Covert of Minneapolis Washburn in 2018. Weaver’s time is ranked fourth best in the nation this year. Weaver puts in hours to accomplish these kinds of goals. 

Teammate Morgan Peterman added, “Not only does she spend hours running, she also eats healthy, and spends extra time preventing injuries and working out in the gym.”

Weaver received a full ride scholarship to run cross country and Track at BYU. The BYU women cross country team won the 2021 NCAA Cross Country Championships. This is the fifth national title in the program’s history. Weaver will be training with the best of the best next year. She will have to fight for spots and up her training. It is expected that Weaver will be a part of a NCAA championship in years to come. 

Weaver explained that as long as she keeps working hard, staying mentally strong and physically strong she will be able to have a great experience at BYU. 

Not only does Weaver have athletic excellence, she excels in leadership. Weaver motivates and inspires not just her teammates, but younger runners as well. Being that Weaver is from Stillwater and walks the same hallways as others, it can show anyone that hard work truly does pay off. It is an honor to be able to train with Weaver and see her set these goals because it motivates people to achieve their goals like Weaver did. Weaver is a leader for her team, she gives peps talks and leads by example. 

“Ana influences me to run with 110% effort and try my very best in everything I do. Her determination and perseverance continues to push me to become the best athlete I can be,” Peterman explained.

Weaver has an outgoing personality and way of life. Running is a huge factor in her life. However, there is more to her. Weaver is intelligent and optimistic. Her friends and family mean a lot to her and she spends a lot of quality time with them.

She’s got a lot of other things going, she’s got athletics just in a really good place in her life.”

— Scott Christensen

“But running is not her whole life; she’s adventurous. She’s curious. She’s got a lot of other things going, she’s got athletics just in a really good place in her life. And that’s good modeling for the rest of the team, both the girls and the boys,” Christensen added.

Weaver is approaching her last season and her goals are to just have fun with her teammates. Weaver is leaving behind a legacy here. Weaver will go down in history as one of the strongest athletes to walk in these hallways. Weaver has shown that hard work pays off, grit and perseverance, academic importance and leadership will take you a long way. She is leaving the cross country program and school in a better place. Weaver will be missed, but she will continue to achieve greatness at BYU.

“What she’s left so far is a new bar of greatness. A new bar of sportsmanship. And just a new bar of keeping athletics in perspective, she’s great. She’s great at it. Possibly, I think,” Christensen explained, “maybe the best ever.”