This story is the perfect transition for the transition from cross country to indoor track because it involves the opposite transition. This story is about an athlete who went from finishing 64th at the 6A state meet to finishing with all-state honors (13th) this season at the 6A XC State Meet in just a year's time. This story is about Faith Ross.
Faith has one of the most unique and honestly impressive stories of this XC season. She has gone from running 25:35 in her first XC high school race all the way to 19:13 this year at the VHSL 6A State XC Meet. That time this year was good enough for all-state honors as was previously mentioned.
Between her first year and achieving this great honor this season were many hurdles, literally.
Ross is not your average XC runner. She stands no taller than 5'2", has a goofy demeanor, and is fiercely competitive. Not to mention she loves to get out at nearly a full sprint in the start of a race.
The most non average thing about her though is her talent. She is a monster when it comes to track. She is a once in a generation athlete and few are aware of who she is when it comes to XC. This season her 19:13 performance at states would equate to a 18:30 performance at somewhere like Third Battle or MileStat.com XC Invitational. This year's race was cold, windy, and in some tall grass. Having that type of speed is impressive for anyone but even more impressive considering some interesting facts.
Faith hails from Western Branch which means she knows how to hurdle pretty well. And by pretty well we mean she is one of the greatest hurdlers ever in our state. Being at such a competitive school and surrounded by such elite athletes has no doubt helped her reach these heights but right now it is just unreal.
So far, Faith has finished with all-state honors in every relay, cross country, the 800, all three hurdle events, the 500, the 300, and the high jump. She also sits on the VA all-time top 25 list in 11 different events across both indoor and outdoor track. That alone is a state record for most appearances by any girl or boy in Virginia's history.
Faith may just be a face in the crowd at XC meets but she is really a star. She has gone from being just another name on the performance list to someone you have to take a second look at and think, wait is that the same girl that hurdles?
Running for Western Branch is not easy. She has high expectations and even tougher competition. She finished last year ranked inside the top 20 all-time in the 55m hurdles but only third on her own team. She has not let that deter her work and keeps improving. This has been the case in track and XC her entire career. Somehow, she has just kept getting better and better in nearly every event.
All of those accolades and the scary range is impressive but what is most impressive is what Faith has done by achieving these feats. Faith has literally shattered every stereotype in the book. From a cultural standpoint she has exceedingly pushed the status quo to show the events you're in or good at have nothing to do with what you look like or what school you go to.
From a physical standpoint she has shown that you can have "fast twitch muscles" and still be killer at XC too. She takes away everyone's excuses that if you're a sprinter you can't be good at XC or that it will affect your sprinting. She is not only getting better at XC but also sprinting and hurdling at the same time.
Her story is an important one because you will likely hear it on NBC at the Olympics one day.
Faith has crossed a lot of hurdles in her time but finishing with all-state honors in XC may be the best hurdle she ran through to date.