Bailey uses mental toughness to set the pace


Kathleen Ortiz

Sophomore Elina Bailey competes in the Melon Run at Kingwood Park on Sept. 25. She won the girls’ division.

Arleigh Doehring, Photo Editor

It started with an interest and continues with passion. Sophomore Elina Bailey, joined cross country on a whim in 7th grade and has loved it ever since.

She started running when she was encouraged by the Kingwood Middle School cross country coach in 6th grade. The coach noticed her speed.

She’s a quiet but confident runner. She won’t brag on herself but she’s really giving us an edge.

— coach Cody Cook

“I think I really started enjoying cross country in 8th grade,” Bailey said. “I started seeing how fun the different courses were and really bonding as a team”

Bailey made the varsity team as a freshman and cross country coach Cody Cook said that she is the team’s No. 1 runner this season.

“She’s very tough mentally,” Cook said. “She runs through the mental barriers. She’s also a very physically strong person and very determined. She’s consistent.”

Cook said she’s cut about 5 minutes off her 5K time since freshman year and this season she’s gotten her 5K time under 20 minutes.

“She’s sub 20 minutes now for the first time, so she’s running [personal records] every week it seems,” Cook said.

Bailey also cheers and runs track. Along with the approximately 35 miles she runs weekly for cross country, she also attends cheer practices.

“There’s many nights where she’s up late and she’s doing multiple workouts per day,” Cook said. “I think that’s why she’s so physically and mentally tough.”

Bailey’s goals this season were to break 20 minutes in the 5K and make it to state. She’s done the first one already.

“She’s a quiet but confident runner,” Cook said. “She won’t brag on herself but she’s really giving us an edge.”