Macy Lee '21

The Regents needed a captain.

Last year, there were no juniors to groom for a leadership role with La Reina High’s cross country team.

Co-head coach David Avila, an assistant last season, started mulling over options with former head coach Patrick Neville last spring.

Could Macy Rose Lee, currently a sophomore, shoulder the responsibilities?

“We thought she’d make a great captain, but she’s young,” Avila said. “It seemed like a lot of pressure for a sophomore. Over the summer, she stepped up and started coordinating things.”

Lee has not disappointed.

The 16-year-old set practice times, sent emails to teammates about what to bring to practices and meets, and gave the incoming freshmen a warm welcome—all while working hard to shred seconds off her own time.

“She just takes initiative,” co-head coach Melissa Skiba said of Lee. “She’s really good about including the freshmen and making sure they feel comfortable.”

A former club soccer player, Lee entered the cross country scene as a freshman.

“Being a freshman, I was really scared with a new sport and new team,” she said. “The seniors on the team took me in as a little sister.”

Lee took it upon herself to make sure the next generation of Regents received the same warm welcome.

Kaitlyn Ray, a La Reina freshman, said it was greatly appreciated. The rookie said Lee’s full of solid advice.

“She’s taught me how to calm my nerves and what to do the day before a race,” Ray said. “She’s the best.”

Jenna Krostag, a junior who plays soccer and runs track and field, said Lee also made her feel at home during her first season with the cross country team.

“She supports us and leads us,” Krostag said. “She’s amazing.”

While Lee’s impressed the coaches as a captain off the course, she’s been equally impressive on the trails.

She set a new personal best 3-mile time of 20 minutes, 20 seconds at the Tri-Valley League opener on Sept. 27 at Camino Real Park in Ventura.

“When I saw the time coming in, I couldn’t believe it,” Lee said. “I couldn’t’ stop smiling.”

While she was happy with her time, she was happier to see Krostag and Ray also clock PRs.

She has Krostag’s 20:10 and Ray’s 20:34 personal records memorized.

“I remember that meet so well,” Lee said. “When I see that everyone’s happy and everyone succeeded, then I feel like I can celebrate.”

At the Ventura County Cross Country Championships on Oct. 13, Lee cut more than two minutes off the time she ran in 2017, crossing the finish line in 20:39.

She said she’s hoping to run a sub-20-minute race at some point this season while helping La Reina earn a postseason berth.

“Hopefully, we’re bound for CIF, and we’re trying to get to state,” she said.

Lee is the youngest of Kenny and Janet Lee’s three children. Her older brothers, Griffen and Calvin, graduated from Thousand Oaks High. Griffen played academy soccer in high school before graduating from San Diego State. Calvin, a former Lancer cross country runner, is going to school to become a welder.

Macy Rose Lee is an honors student who maintains a 3.75 GPA in the classroom. In the spring, she runs the 800-meter race and competes in the 4×400 relay.

Lee said she’s gained a new level of confidence since being selected as captain.

“It was just amazing knowing they had confidence in me because I didn’t have 100 percent confidence in myself,” she said. “When I knew they had full confidence in me, it was such a boost.

“I want to be the type of person that leads people in the best way possible. I want to raise people up.”

To read more about Macy and the LR Cross Country coaches, read the original article on the Acorn's website

Photo by Joseph A. Garcia/Acorn Newspapers

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