From Vans To Racing Flats


Joey Babcock

Elizabeth Gerhardt holds the second place trophy for the CIF state cross country meet. Gerhardt came in 39th place within the 195 girls in her league. The Sage Creek girls cross country team took home this trophy after a successful season full of accomplishments.

Madison Young, Staff Writer

If you kept up with the girls cross country team this past fall, then the name Elizabeth Gerhardt, more commonly known as “Lizzie,” should sound extremely familiar to your ears.

Gerhardt is most commonly known throughout Sage Creek’s campus for the extraordinary running career that she has built in only one season of running. Gerhardt never knew of her running talent until one fateful day sprung up on her during her physical education class: the timed mile.

Gerhardt’s timed mile in P.E. class, which she did with almost zero training, came in at a breathtaking 5 minutes and 46 seconds. Even after running this remarkable time during the early morning of first period, Gerhardt did not yet recognize the potential that she would possessed. If it had not been for the freshman’s P.E. instructor, Coach Daniel Kung, Gerhardt would would not have even considered joining the small team of girls this past fall.

Joey Babcock
Elizabeth Gerhardt (right) races alongside teammate Lavanya Pandey (left) at the CIF State championships in Fresno, California during thanksgiving break Saturday, Nov. 25. Elizabeth finished her final race of the 2017-2018 cross country season with a bang and aided Sage Creek’s girls cross country team to place second overall.

Once joining the rigorous and fatiguing sport of cross country, Gerhardt adapted to the running atmosphere extremely well. In the very initial stages of her transition onto the team, when Gerhardt’s name was not yet known, a common nickname that was given to her by the girls had been “Vans girl.” This fitting name had been fastened to her due to the white shoes she had ran in during the shockingly fast-paced mile she completed in Kung’s P.E. class.

Once Gerhardt purchased a new pair of racing flats, her season took off. Starting her season on the junior varsity team, Gerhardt had an extremely impressive first race at Guajome Park in Carlsbad’s sister city of Oceanside. With only a 3 second gap, she placed first at her very first cross country race that took place on Oct. 7 of 2017.

“The best part of running is getting to know all of the girls and run with them at meets and stuff and the worst part about running is the pressures that come with racing,” Gerhardt said.

From then on Gerhardt’s name had been well known by the entire team, and once transitioning onto the varsity team, this young freshman had helped develop this group of racers to accomplish what was thought to be inconceivable prior to her joining the team in the fall. Her first major achievement once joining the varsity group of girls that had taken place at the Mt. Sac Cross Country Invitational; aiding her team to receive second place overall after racing the 2.93 mile course.

“It was a really big moment for not just Lizzie but for our team and she stepped up huge; I think she pretty much surprised everybody including myself. She was our third girl that day on our team and helped us get a second place finish at the Mt. Sac sweepstakes race for D4 which is huge so it was a pretty good race.” cross country coach, Jacob Feiring stated.

Joey Babcock
Success followed by smiles; Tristan Hoffman (left), Elizabeth Gerhardt (middle), and Madison Stringfellow (right) line up with Foothill Technology and La Canada High Schools to get photos of their memorable races. Foothill Technology won first place, La Canada received third, and Sage Creek in the center had a successful race that put them in second place.

The remainder of her season that followed was stocked full of personal achievements that in turn had led the Sage Creek girls cross country team to accomplish what was once thought to be an impossible feat: a second place finish at this year’s CIF state meet; Gerhardt, running the same distance as she had in her very first cross country race of the season (Guajome),  improved her time by a minute and twelve seconds within the miniscule two month period.

Thanks to the addition of Gerhardt’s untapped talent, the team as a whole accomplished what was thought to be unfeasible throughout this season.