By ANDREW KE
Senior Collette Lowengrub was named ASB’s Female Athlete of the Month for September for her excellence on the track as a member of the cross country (XC) team. Lowengrub has been the top distance runner on UHS’s teams since her freshman year.
Lowengrub has won countless races and honors, including a League Championship and Pacific Coast League XC MVP in 2018, 3200m League Champ in 2018, and 2019 in addition to qualifying for CIF individually all 4 years.
“Collette is honestly such a role model not [only] to me but to the entire team. Oftentimes in XC, runners get judged solely on their performance in races, but no one really sees the immense amount of hard work and effort that goes on behind the scenes,” junior Alissa Kopylova said.
Kopylova added that she admires the dedication that Lowengrub has put in to be successful.
“It’s really cool to see someone like that remain so persistent and determined to keep improving and honestly it’s such an honor to be able to train with them,” Kopylova said.
Senior Brandon Kershaw also praised Lowengrub for being a role model for her teammates.
“All of the girls on the team look up to her as inspiration because of the amount of hard work and effort she has put into her improvement,” Kershaw said.
Kershaw also discussed how Lowengrub’s countless hours committed to cross country contributed to her success.
“Collette is very talented and puts in an incredible amount of work. She is as fast as she is because she trains every single day and makes sure she stretches and uses ice to prevent any injuries,” Kershaw said.
Initially, Lowengrub was drawn into cross country because of the welcoming culture of the team.
“I started cross country because after I tried out, I loved the team environment, atmosphere, coaches, and my teammates,” Lowengrub said.
Coach Eric Davies believed that Lowengrub’s drive has helped her be successful, as she participated in CIF despite experiencing pain in her leg.
“Prior to the meet we knew she was in a lot of pain, but [t]he athlete in her wanted to compete and she did to only find out later she had a stress fracture,” Davies said.
Lowengrub’s ability to lead by example has motivated her teammates to be successful as well.
“[Collette’s] an amazing teammate that supports and encourages her friends to do their best,” said senior Dylan Muniz.“She does a fantastic job as the captain of the girls’ team.”.
Junior Jet Charter also credited Lowengrub with improving the team’s atmosphere.
“[Collette] always brings enthusiasm and determination whenever we’re at meets and always puts a smile on everyone’s face,” Charter said.
Lowengrub has enjoyed being a part of the cross country team not only because of her performances, but also the bonds that she has created in the experience.
“My best memory on the team is finding some of the best friends I could ever ask for and getting to compete alongside them,” Lowengrub said.
The cross country team has set the goal of making CIF as a team, and the team believes that this goal is attainable.
“It looks like we definitely have a shot this year to qualify as we have many new talented freshmen on the team and our returning members have put in the work all throughout quarantine to keep improving,” Kopylova said.
Next year, Lowengrub will continue her career at UC Riverside. However, her focus is still on her last year in high school.
“My goals for the cross country [are] to make CIF as a team again and move on to CIF finals as well,” Lowengrub said.