Go Captains Go!


Cymona Abellard, Reporter

Cross country is a very strenuous and time-consuming sport that is not for everyone, but Payton Gandee and Matthew Schafer make it look easy. Payton and Matthew are the captains for this year and because of that I wanted to look more into the start of their love for the sport, and what their life looks like now.

Payton has been in cross country for as long as she can remember, she’s not even sure when she started because she doesn’t remember a time before she was running. Her favorite part about being on the team here at school is the people. She says that the people are amazing and everyone on the team wants to be there and has a good attitude. There is never any drama and that makes it so much more enjoyable.

Payton eats a little bit healthier during the season, but because she already can’t have gluten or dairy, her diet isn’t too different from the off-season. On days she has a meet, she packs in as much protein as possible and tries to drink a lot of water. As for workouts, she doesn’t do anything additional besides practice because practice is already very hard on the body, so she uses every other day to rest.

With all that being said, cross country hasn’t been her entire life. She also loves to rock climb, swim, and bike, and she is in the choir here at school. Having all of those hobbies, you can’t necessarily go to college with the intent to pursue everything, so she decided to just choose one. Payton said, “I don’t want to go into college and run or be a pro in run, I want to do choir in college.”

Even though she already decided to pursue other things after high school, she still keeps her motivation by simply wanting to improve. She tells herself not to put too much pressure on being the best because no one can everĀ really be the best.

As for Matthew, he sees it as a personal test. He says, “Cross country is a love-hate relationship, but it has always been a personal challenge to me to get better because you never know what you can do.”

Matthew has been running since about 3rd grade and he started mostly because his siblings did it too. Even though it has been a large part of his life, he has made it a point not to make it his entire life. That being said, he doesn’t feel the need to change his diet during the season. He also doesn’t work out any more than the practices because like Payton said, it is hard on the body, and extra practices are not necessarily needed. After all of these years, he has kept cross country as a sport that he enjoys participating in but has goals to pursue other things because not only is he a fantastic runner, but he has insanely good grades. After high school, he wants to do a 2-year mission with his church to spread the religion that he believes in and then go to BYU for aerospace engineering.

Overall both of these people are amazing runners and amazing people that are good at the sport but won’t make it their whole life. I believe Payton and Matthew will both have very bright futures and accomplish big things in whatever they decide to do.