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The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

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The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

Covering the Bronco Nation.

The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

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Leilani Fierro: Leadership On the Trail, In the Classroom

Senior Leilani Fierro runs at the Southlake Carroll Invitational meet at Bob Jones Park on Aug. 27, 2022. (Photo by Rudy Arriaga)

Cars rush by as senior Leilani Fierro watches the sun rise on the same practice route she’s run every day for four years. Throughout her high school career, Fierro ran under three different team captains, but as her senior season begins, it’s her turn.

“Cross country is a sport that teaches people how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable,” Fierro said. “I’ve learned how to push myself further than what my mind lets me. I have more confidence in myself knowing I can finish something I started.”

Since being recruited to run by her middle school coach, Fierro has not only developed into a better runner but also a better leader. This season, Coach Jeff Lindsey rewarded Fierro’s four-year commitment to the team by selecting her as the team captain.

“She means a lot [to the team],” Coach Lindsey said. “She’s a great kid, a hard worker, and I’m super blessed that I’ve had her on the team for the last few years.”

For Fierro, cross country is more than just a sport. It’s provided her with a second family and relationships that can only be made at 5:45 in the morning.

“Previous teams have been my entire world,” Fierro said. “You kind of form those bonds that you wouldn’t get with any other friends because they see you at your moodiest moments and they still choose to be with you. They still want to be your friend.”

Although Fierro values her friendships with the team, she also knows her role as their captain and strives to be the best leader for the younger runners.

“I want to be that leader for the younger girls, their freshman year that I did not get,” Fierro said. “I want to encourage them to do weekend runs and encourage them to push themselves and to just have fun with it and not take the sport too seriously.”

Fierro not only leads on the track and course but also on the newspaper staff, as the Editor in Chief of The Rider Online. The newspaper helps bring an entirely different dynamic to her leadership.

“I feel like in cross country I get to be more playful and I get to joke around with them more often because I’m not telling them to do a job,” Fierro said. “Newspaper is different, because, yeah, I’m your friend, but I’m also your boss and I’m going to be telling you what to do and how to do it.”

About the Contributors
Jonah Pedroza, Sports Editor
People told Vincent Van Gough, "You can't be a great painter you only have one ear." You know what he said? "I can't hear you"
Nicole Novak, Photographer
Hey, my name is Nicole and I'm a pretty fantastic person if I do say so myself. I like to spend time mountain biking and rock climbing. So if you ride hardtail instead of full suspension I'm sorry. But hey, if you know what that means at least you're out riding.
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    Isaiah ManningOct 13, 2022 at 10:19 am

    nice work Jonah