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Brubaker continues to work hard

Until eighth grade, Lucy Brubaker tried her share of sports.

That was when she had Kyle Rusnock as her science teacher, and he encouraged her to try out for the cross country team.

“I had tried a number of sports,” recalled Brubaker. “I played soccer for five years throughout elementary school. I had stopped in middle school and thought I needed a change.

“When I had Mr. Rusnock as a teacher, he recruited me to come out for the team. He is such a nice person, and I enjoyed it from the start. He created a fun environment.”

From the start, Brubaker didn’t have many adjustments.

“It came pretty naturally to me,” stated Brubaker about her running beginnings. “I knew it would come down to lowering my time. I wasn’t that fast when I started, but I kept working.”

The senior remembered how she had a big improvement her freshman year when she lowered her time from 26 to 23 minutes by the end of the year.

The following season, Brubaker began the year running in the 24-minute range and eventually lowered her time down to 20 minutes.

COVID slowed her progress last season.

“It was a different year,” said Brubaker about last season. “There were six meets, and it was hard to get into a consistent rhythm. I knew I would have to work hard this summer to get back to where I was.

“We started our preseason earlier than usual, and it should help all of us.”

This season, Brubaker opened the season with a time of 24:30 at the Moravian Academy Invitational Sept. 3.

“I think things this year are pretty good,” she said. “I was around the same time as my sophomore year. I feel good, and I think I can get better.”

Rusnock has appreciated her contributions over the past four years.

“Lucy has been outstanding since her first day when she started running for us,” said Rusnock. “She is a hard worker and takes on any challenges she has been faced with.

“She always works hard at practice, and that has been contagious to the other athletes on the team. So far, Lucy is off to a great start this year, and I am looking forward to her posting some of her best times.”

When she isn’t running, Brubaker spends time taking piano lessons. She credits her teacher, Mary Siddons, for her guidance through the years.

Along with her running and piano lessons, Brubaker has served as class president for the past three years, and has been involved with Student Council, National Honor Society, Brown and White newspaper, and Varsity C Club.

“I have been doing it for a long time,” she said. “It is very different from running. I don’t see it as an escape from running, and it is something I enjoy. I used to perform recitals when I was younger, but I haven’t done them for a while.”

Brubaker plans to attend college in the fall, but she hasn’t made her choice. She has entertained a career in psychology, yet she hasn’t finalized her plans. Brubaker doesn’t plan on running in college, but she would join a school running club.

She is starting to realize that her high school cross country career is coming to an end. In the spring, Brubaker will run the 800 and the 4 X 400 and 4 X 800 relays. Looking back, Rusnock and her parents, Andrew and Kim, have had the biggest influence over her.

“It is crazy that it is my senior year,” stressed Brubaker. “It hasn’t really hit me yet. Maybe it will when we had our Senior Night this week. It will be hard for me to wrap my head around it.”

Until then, Brubaker will enjoy the moments.

Lucy Brubaker tried other sports before deciding to take up cross country.