The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California

The Scribe

The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California

The Scribe

The student news site of Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California

The Scribe

Athlete of the Month: Justin Thai

Lina Wordelman
Justin Thai running.

Senior varsity athlete, Justin Thai, has been running for the Wilcox cross country team for three years, and is one of the team captains this year. Justin is currently in the Varsity A group, which consists of juniors and seniors who are within the top 10 fastest members on the team. His hard work ethic and dedication doesn’t just stop there. Justin also takes several rigorous courses like AP Literature, AP Japanese and AP Biology. In his free time, Justin enjoys hanging out with his friends and participating in school activities. During an interview, Justin shared more about his story of how he became passionate about this sport. 

He first heard about the team in his freshman year, during quarantine when his friend recommended the sport. He opens up about how online school during quarantine had negatively impacted him and caused him to develop an unhealthy lifestyle without much outdoor exercise. Justin joined the team back in 2021, during his sophomore year, when schools finally began to open up. Justin is one of the more experienced members on the team, being one of the 7 seniors on the team. There are around 30 to 40 people on the team, the majority of them being newly joined underclassmen. 

Justin’s favorite part of doing this sport is the competitiveness. He feels an exhilarating surge of adrenaline when he is racing against others. He also enjoys meeting new people and interacting with his teammates. Justin says, “It’s nice to run with people who are motivated and have the same goals as you.” He explains that he loves being around his peers, pushing each other and working together as a team to achieve their goals. 

Justin explains how cross country is a tough sport, as it is both physically and mentally intense. Justin defines success as not only the triumphs or trophies, but more about improvement over time. In his first year, he improved from a 19 min run to a 11:40 run. That’s over an 8 minute drop! In addition, he mentions the importance of consistent practice everyday to build endurance in order to perform his best. Justin’s race strategy for the 3 mile run is by running at a consistent pace for the first two miles, and going all out, using all the energy he has on his third mile. Seems like the key to Justin’s success lies in his admirable determination and excellent race strategy.    

Through this sport, Justin has developed  good sportsmanship, and developed respect towards his teammates as team captain. The cross country coach, Coach Gonza explains how Justin is a team leader who guides the group during warm-ups and mentors his teammates during practice. Coach Gonza also mentions how “he’s dedicated to cheering on his teammates.” Furthermore, the coach recollects how Justin even made intricate and creative posters for the seniors last year.  

Justin’s one of the few members on the team who has a close to perfect attendance. As busy as Justin must be with school work as an upperclassman, he uses his time efficiently, rarely skipping any practices, showing his dedication and commitment towards the sport. Coach Gonza shared how Justin even participated in the optional summer conditioning practices. 

Justin’s goal this year is to get under 17 mins for the 3 mile run in order  to make it to the CCS championships. Justin hopes his and his teammates’ efforts this season will pay off in the upcoming tournaments. The Wilcox community is excited to see Justin’s future performances, and wishes the team a successful season this year.

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  • J

    JoshOct 12, 2023 at 6:28 pm

    It’s about time cross country gets the respect they deserve. Congratulations Justin!