Interview with Cross Country Runners Joe Gibson ’23 and Vanca Pandey ’26


Kellan Raterman, Sports Co-Editor '23

In the last week I have sat down to interview two star cross country runners, Vanca Pandey ‘26 and Joe Gibson ‘23.  These two runners’ recent accomplishments have earned the attention of many in the Country Day community. Let’s find out why.

Vanca is a freshman at CCDS and has been finishing with great times this year such as her 21:09 finish at the MVC league meet which earned her second place in the girls race.  When asked about her goals for the future Vanca said, “I want to get under 20 minutes within the next one or two years and I want our girls team to win”.  Vanca is determined to shave off over a minute of her time in the next year or two, which is not as easy as it may seem.  But, she shared that one of the ways she was able to improve throughout this season was by “choosing different people to run with” and “doing the full workout instead of taking it easier”.  In cross country, you have to be accountable and push yourself to get better everyday since most of the practice is done at your own pace without a coach present.  Although the season is not over just yet, the highlight of the year for Vanca is certainly her 21:09 PR at the MVC league meet.

My other interview was with senior runner, Joe Gibson.  Joe has ran cross country all four years of high school and has improved every year.  When asked about how he has improved throughout his four years, Joe said, “every year I take it more seriously and I set my goals higher”.  Joe said that Coach Tracey-Miller and Coach Corrigan have also helped him improve as “they care about my times and they want to see me get better.” Joe also recently set a new PR of 17:18 at the MVC league meet, but he has higher goals for the season.  Joe would like to PR again and make it to state.  Joe said he would need to “drop another 3-5 seconds every mile” to hit a sub 17 minute time.  Even though it’s only 3-5 seconds every mile, he is already running at a 5:35 pace and shaving off those seconds is much harder than it seems.