Rainey Woodward dedicated her sophomore cross country season to getting back to winning championships


Woodward is participating in cross country now that her sesamoid bone has healed.
Sarah Wells
Woodward is participating in cross country now that her sesamoid bone has healed.

How was it going from your freshman year making state to not being able to participate in your sophomore season due to your broken foot?

As a freshman, I won the state title in the 800. However, during the winter season of my sophomore year, my foot (sesamoid bone) was hurting almost every time I ran, so I went to the doctor to get an MRI and found that I had been running on a broken bone for almost 4 months. I was told I couldn’t do any activity for nearly three months, which for a runner taking three months off can make major setbacks in your career. My sister, Mikhaela Woodward, and one of my teammates, Hannah Davidson, made it to state in the 800 which was also hard to watch, but what made it worth it was when they told me that they were running for me and my title.

What has recovery been like?

The road back to recovery was tough. Before I was injured I could easily run for 70 minutes and not be sore after. When I came back out of the boot running for 15 minutes made me tired, so I had to build up my minutes in order to even start getting faster again. It also took a lot of biking and ‘pool running’ to restore my cardio. I’m still not where I was before the injury, but I’m getting there.

How do Matt and Angie Brass affect you on and off the course?

Matt and Angie truly are my second parents. They provide insight to racing and training as well as life in general. They’re not your typical coaches either, they run with us every day and keep us on track for training in the off-season. They dedicate their time to high school athletes and help everyone on the team buy into the XC lifestyle.

How has team chemistry been a part of your success the past two years at state?

The true secret to the XC state titles is the unity that the girls team has. Many of the other XC girls teams in Idaho do the same workouts that we do every week, yet we have a leg up because of our unity. When you are willing to hurt for a team member, that makes all the difference. When we’re running and it starts to hurt, we remember how much we love each other and how we know that our teammates are hurting too and we run harder for them, and that’s what wins state titles.