Runner to Watch: Izzy Alvarez ’23 brings a “Fresh Spirit” to the Team

According to Izzy Alvarez ’23,

A new runner on Andover Girls Cross Country this fall, Izzy Alvarez ’23 began her competitive running career in middle school. This past Sunday, Alvarez and the rest of the team traveled to the Bobcat Invitational in Lee, N.H., where Alvarez ran a time of 23:53 in the 5k, earning third place overall for the Junior Varsity team.

According to Natasha Muromcew ’22, Alvarez goes to practice with contagious positive energy every day.

Muromcew said, “As a teammate and as a runner, I think Izzy brings a lot of good, happy, and fresh spirit to the team… Izzy is one of the teammates who always comes to practice with a smile on her face and is willing to put in her best and really try her hardest, and I think that energy spreads to the rest of the team and helps at practice.”

For finishing third on the JV team at the Bobcat Invitational and for being an uplifting teammate, Alvarez is being recognized as The Phillipian’s Runner to Watch.

How did you first get into cross country and for how long have you been running?

My brother started running cross country in high school and so he kind of got me into it. He brought me to some of his races and I fell in love. This season will be my third year running cross country for a school team, so that’s pretty exciting.

How would you describe the role running has played in your life?

Running cross country has definitely been more of a relaxing part of my life because when you’re running in the race or just practicing, it’s a really good time for yourself and it’s kind of like meditating in a way.

As a new member on the cross country team, what have you noticed about the team dynamic?

The team’s dynamic is amazing. Everyone on the team is so nice and we get along so well. There really is no way to describe it. [Captain Posie Millett ’20] and all of the other upperclassmen are really great as well.

What is your motivation while running a race?

During races, there are always those times where you’re discouraged when you get a cramp, or you’re going up a hill and you’re going really slow, and you feel like you could just walk up the hill faster, or when someone passes you or when there’s a huge group of people cheering for someone on the other team, it’s easy to get discouraged. You just have to remember that there are always people waiting for you at the finish line and you’re representing your school and yourself. It’s really important to keep those things in mind.

What are your winter and spring sports and does cross country have any influence on them?

In the winter, I’m a competitive figure skater, and it’s something I’ve done my whole life, so that’s my winter sport. My spring sport is lacrosse. Lacrosse obviously involves running, and skating doesn’t, but neither of them really have any direct correlation with cross country.

What do you do before a race? Do you have any pre-race rituals?

I do this thing the night before a race where you kind of just imagine yourself running on the course and you imagine yourself passing people and crossing the finish line. It’s really helpful for getting in the right mindset for the race.

Have you set any goals for the upcoming season?

I would like to hit a [Personal Record] this season. Right now my PR is 20:48 for a 5k, and I think a PR would be great for me. Also, staying motivated throughout the season and getting closer with my teammates are some other focuses.