"I’ve learned that when you don’t let fear hold you back, you take chances that lead to great things." - Carly Corsinita
Named 2019 OC Register Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, this Capo Valley senior and South Coast League Champion has wrapped up an impressive high school cross country career with a phenomenal final season.
Taking 5th place at the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 championships 5k with a time of 17:10.3, the fastest time of any Orange County girls runner at the CIF-SS Finals, Carly Corsinita qualified for the Foot Locker National Finals in San Diego running alongside the top athletes in the country. One of the elite group of girls running 3 mile courses sub-17, Corsinita is ranked Top-10 in California state and Top-50 nationally for 5k following her performance at the Foot Locker West Regionals in December 2019.
Now bound for Oregon in the Fall, Carly kindly agreed to speak to Woodbridge Warriors about her career to date, her future plans, and what has helped her get to the top of her game in cross country….
Let’s start with the fun stuff! What are your favorite things?
My favorite color is teal green, favorite food is pasta, and favorite subjects are science and history.
How did you get into Cross Country? Did you come from any other sports?
I started running seriously when I joined cross country as a freshman, but I participated in YMCA track for a couple seasons in elementary, in addition to a mile-a-day marathon club which introduced me to the sport.
I had played soccer for 6 years, and also did swim, softball, gymnastics, and rock climbing, and wasn’t ever too good at any of those. My mom encouraged me to join cross country, she had loved it in high school and I thought I would give it a shot.
Do you have any rituals before a big race? How do you prepare?
Before every race, I eat a big bowl of pasta, get to bed early, and rehearse the race in two ways. The first is how I imagine it going perfectly, and how I feel. The second time, I imagine different variables not going my way and how I would adjust to make the best of it, (such as getting tripped at the start, or the race going out too fast.)
In the mornings, I always eat a breakfast burrito and if it’s a later race I’ll eat a PB&J for lunch. I also am superstitious about wearing lucky socks.
Do you have a favorite course?
My favorite course would probably have to be the new Orange County Championship course at Oak Canyon Park. It’s definitely tough, and always ends up very tactical, but I like the challenge it brings.
What are some of your best memories of the last 4 years in Cross Country?
I’ve had a lot of really great memories, such as making nationals in cross country and breaking 10:30 in the 3200, but I think my very favorite ones were when I was younger on the team and pushed myself to run with two of my older and faster teammates.
I made a promise to myself at the beginning of my sophomore year that I was going to give my all to keep up with them each day, and it was both the most challenging and most rewarding thing that I’d ever experienced. I got way stronger both physically and mentally, and it opened a lot of doors for me.
What advice would you give to someone starting the sport in high school?
My advice for anyone starting cross country is to first, fall in love with the process, and second, set goals that excite you and chase them. Running is tough, there’s no other way to say it, but if you can learn to embrace the pain, occasional injuries, and failures, it all pays off. Don’t limit yourself, set big goals and write them down, or tell someone.
Who has inspired you along the way?
I’ve been lucky to have had some amazing role models to learn from. The team captains that encouraged me to push myself really inspired me, they loved the sport and gave their best everyday and I had always wanted to grow up to be like them. My coach built an incredible program, and he helped me grow from one of the slower people on the team to who I am today.
What are your future plans?
Next year, I will be running Division 1 cross country and track for the University of Oregon. It’s a total dream-come-true to join such a prestigious program and I’m excited to be in an environment where everyone is very passionate about running.
Do you have any favorite quotes or inspirations you would like to share?
One of my favorite quotes has been up in my room for quite a while, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”
The way I’d always interpreted it was “what would you shoot for if you weren’t afraid of failure?” I’ve learned that when you don’t let fear hold you back, you take chances that lead to great things.
Woodbridge Warriors would like to express their gratitude to Carly Corsinita and Capo Valley High School Cross Country Coach Traci Skeen Maynard for taking the time to speak to us, and we wish Carly the very best of luck for her future running career at the University of Oregon. This is the first in a series of off-season athlete profiles. For more information on the Woodbridge Warriors cross country program, please contact Coach Bryan Pacheco at [email protected]