Covenant runners pushing each other to new heights

Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 5:39 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Two of the best high school runners in Virginia are right here in Charlottesville.

Maddie Gardiner and Reese Dalton are not only teammates at the Covenant School, they’re best friends. This friendship started in middle school with their joint interest in running. Now, they’re pushing each other to new heights.

Maddie recently had the fastest girls’ time at the annual Ragged Mountain Cup, and finished second in the Charlottesville Women’s 4 Miler.

“Sometimes, it’s easy for me to get caught up in having all those expectations of myself,” she said. “Positive thoughts for me is the biggest part of running.”

“It really just tests yourself during races and practices. You can really see what your body is capable of,” Reese said.

Maddie and Reese are both juniors at the high school, rank #1 and #2 in the state for 5K cross country.

Reese became the state champion in the 800 meter this past spring. Meanwhile, Maddie is the state champion in the 3200 meter with her personal best of 10 minutes, 33 seconds.

“I love the tempo workout, she loves a speed workout. So we push each other in those,” Maddie said.

“Definitely brings out the best in me. She pushes me in workouts and practices,” Reese said.

“They’ve really worked on all parts of their game from fundamentals to stamina to strength, mental skills. They are both curious and supportive of each other, so at the end of the day I think its fun for them,” Coach Ann Dalton.

Running can be a lonely sport, but the two best friends support each other and make it fun.

“I think if I was by myself I would have quit a long time ago. It’s not an easy sport. Just having her helps mentally, physically all of it,” Reese said.

“You get out there and there are days when you don’t feel like doing it. It’s hard, it’s mentally hard. Having that support knowing that someone is going through the pain is comforting,” Maddie said.

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