Cooper Laird works hard for his top rank

Senior captain Cooper Laird’s accomplishments in cross country make him a central and widely-known member of the cross country team.

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Cooper Laird works hard for his top rank

Divya Akkiraju, Reporter

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As a district and statewide champion, senior captain Cooper Laird’s accomplishments in cross country make him a central and widely-known member of the cross country team.

“He’s obviously a fast runner. That’s what everyone knows him for. And he’s been the fastest runner forever,” said senior captain Connor Lynch.

Lynch also said that Laird is rightfully one of the cross country captains for the 2019 running season. “He’s also a captain this year and rightfully so. He’s a good leader for the team and even though he actually has to modify his practices because he does extra running, he still finds ways to stick with the team,” Lynch said.

Though Laird has established a name for himself in Washington state as one of the top cross country runners, his training and competitive spirit is not an individual effort—his dad sets a strict running program for him to follow.

“My dad ran [cross country] in high school and in college at Montana State. He kind of just passed it on to me,” Laird said.

His self-imposed training schedule consists of running seven days a week—of-ten before school—each
run going up to ten miles. Lynch said he is also particularly attuned to his physical health.

“He’s really conscious of his diet and the sleep he’s getting. He falls asleep at the same time every
night and wakes up at the same time every morning. He’s a really responsible runner, as well as just a good runner,” Lynch said.

Laird had a recent victory at the Twilight Invitational, which is an annual, local invitational hosted by Nike. Not only did he place well in competition, he also made a personal record.

“It was a really big moment for me because it was kind of a culmination of a lot of hard work and I PR’d [personal record] by 10 seconds,” Laird said.

Not only has Laird achieved several accomplishments in cross country, his teammates said he has also inspired them to pursue their own goals.

“He’s an inspiring captain,” said junior Lydia Morgan, “Previously, in my mind, I knew him as an amazingly fast runner, so it’s been cool to see him evolve in more of a leadership role this year.”

Laird said cross country is one of the biggest contributions to his personal growth over this past three years in high school.

“Cross country has taught me about hard work and its benefits,” Laird said. “I think cross country is one of those sports that is all about quantitative data, so you’re either fast or you’re not. You can see how you progress over time based on the amount of work you put in.”

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