by Revanth Rao
A tenacious runner and an avid mountain biker, senior Justin Peck is a motivated and high-achieving athlete in multiple pursuits. In particular, Peck shines when he runs cross country, a sport that he has been a part of since his days at Fisher Middle School.
While Peck was generally active during his childhood, he began to run cross country when he moved to Los Gatos in seventh grade. Since he had no prior experience with the sport, he said the training took some getting used to. However, because running did come naturally to him, he quickly began to enjoy the sport.
In middle school, Peck was one of the faster runners, but once he got to high school, he became much faster by implementing training routines taught to him by coaches and older team members. This training includes a preseason, in which the team slowly gets back into running shape. During the season, he trains five to six times per week to prepare for the meets. While the schedule is rigorous, Peck states that he makes sure not to overwork himself, and he likes to ride his mountain bike on weekends to take a break from running.
As a result of his improvements, Peck got a chance to run in the CCS finals last season. Peck trained with the other members of the team who qualified for CCS, and felt that experience really pushed him, stating, “The practices become even harder. The training becomes more difficult.” During the race itself, Peck credits his fast start to his top 15 varsity finish, and said his race time was about 20 seconds faster than his previous personal record for the course.
While cross country is an individual sport, Peck feels the team around him has been extremely helpful to his growth and development. As an underclassman, Peck got a chance to learn from the more experienced members. He credits their work ethic, both athletic and academic, for motivating him on and off the race course. As he’s gotten older, Peck has become a team leader, and has tried to emulate what previous leaders had done, saying, “I had learned so much from those older seniors and juniors that had graduated, and I really wanted to give that same experience back to the current freshmen and sophomores.”
During this pandemic, Peck has been training both individually and with his teammates in hopes of a winter season. While he isn’t sure what the experience will be like, he has enjoyed the social interaction of training and hopes to have one more season with the team.
While Peck is uncertain about the upcoming season, he does want to continue running in the future. While he won’t be going for any scholarships, he thinks that walking on to a college cross country team is “definitely something I’ll continue doing.”