Our Sport Is Not a Punishment

Kristi Deffner dominates the cross country team with wicked speed.

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Our Sport Is Not a Punishment

Junior Kristi Deffner has been trained by some of the best coaches we have to offer, and it’s paid off with running a 5K in 20:33. Cross-country is one of the hardest sports offered at Juan Diego. Deffner is the fastest runner we have to offer this year for our girls team. Juan Diego also has some of the best coaches in Julie Talbott and Joe Elliott.

Kristi Deffner going on to her last mile of the Wheeler farm Race

We generally do a couple 4-6 mile runs every week, then a day of speed work on the track, usually on Friday,” Deffner says. Deffner practices everyday after school and refuses to miss practice for anything. During the summer, she would insist on running even after practice, and it has clearly paid off.

“Kristi works harder than anyone else on the team,” junior Aspen Hodlmair said. “It’s obvious how much she’s improved from this year and last.” Deffner has gone to state two years in a row and it’s clear that each time she goes she gets faster each year, freshman year running a 7:14 mile, then dropping her time to a 6:39.

“It is this consistency (staying focused),” Talbott said, “truly making the most of each practice, that allows her to tap into the full potential of her talent.” Deffner is talented because she has the mental focus down so she can focus on the race, not the other runners. Part of the race is actually running it, but as important is staying focused. One way the coaches help Deffner reach this goal is by doing some simple yoga the day before.

Deffner is enjoying herself and relaxing before the race.

Deffner is going to dominate state this year through the support of her teammates and coaches. Kristi is truly a one of a kind runner.