November Senior Spotlight

Learn more about All State Cross Country senior, Lindsey Payne!


This month’s Senior Spotlight features Lindsey Payne. Lindsey has been an integral part of the Glenbard West Girls Cross Country team throughout her high school career. Let’s learn a little more about my teammate!

Abby: Congratulations on competing in your fourth Illinois State Cross Country meet and your fifth place finish this past weekend! How did you feel about this being your last Cross Country meet?

Lindsey: It is definitely bittersweet, but I feel ready for what lies in my future. I’m going to miss crossing the line with the best teammates I could ever ask for because they make every moment of pain I feel in training and racing worth it.

Abby: How long have you been running and what made you join Cross Country?

Lindsey: I actually only began running at the end of seventh grade when I competed for the Hadley track team because I was very dedicated and serious about my club soccer endeavors. I joined Cross Country because I knew that I was a strong runner and I aspired to be like some of the great girls I had heard of on the GW XC team, especially Madeline Perez.

Abby: A lot of people think Cross Country is an individual sport, but we know it’s just as much a team sport. What can you tell people about this?

Lindsey: Let’s just say that running would not be fun without a team behind you. We all push each other to be our best and our team truly functions via the “domino effect.” A team accomplishment is a thousand times more rewarding than any individual award I have ever received. There’s something special about repping Glenbard West’s name rather than your own.

Abby: What are some of your greatest accomplishments within Cross Country?

Lindsey: I’d say placing in the top five at State all four years of my career. I am just so thankful for my health that has allowed me to thrive on continuity.

Abby: You are such an accomplished athlete, and one of the greatest runners Glenbard West Cross Country has ever seen. Is there a lot of pressure placed on you because of this?

Lindsey: Well first of all, thank you. It can be tough at times when I get beat by a competitor that I normally beat or don’t run a time that I have run previously, but at the end of the day, I am going to say no. I run for the joy of it, and if I were to solely focus on what I didn’t do or haven’t done or won’t do, I would go crazy and not have as much fun anymore.

Abby: Do you have any race-day superstitions?

Lindsey: 100%. I have to eat a peanut butter Clif bar an hour before I warm up. I have to wear the same color of socks, I have to use the same ponytail holder, and eat the same kind of breakfast in the morning.

Abby: Congratulations on committing to Stanford. Has this always been a dream of yours?

Lindsey: Thank you so much. In fact, it’s been my dream-school since my sophomore year. Sometimes I still cannot believe that my dream is becoming a reality. I feel so incredibly humbled to be able to attend Stanford and run for such an incredible group of women and coaches. I couldn’t have done it without my coaches, teachers, teammates, family, and friends.

Abby: What advice would you give to young athletes who hope to become college athletes?

Lindsey: My best advice is to dream big and work hard. I really never thought I would be able to run at Stanford, but I pursued it with my whole heart and things played out in my favor. If you give your best at practice every day you are on the right track because your consistency transfers over into life. Also, when looking at schools make sure it is you reaching out and not your parents because coaches really like seeing the athlete participate in the process.

Abby: What other activities have you been involved in at West?

Lindsey: I played for the Varsity soccer team my freshman year and show up at ultimate Frisbee games every now and then. I also have participated in WSD, FCA, yearbook, Spanish Honors Society over the years. I am a member of National Honors Society as well.

Abby: What’s your favorite memory at West?

Lindsey: This is tough. I have to say all of the dances. I have been to every single dance so far, including the Daddy-Daughter dance, and I have had a blast every time. I’m definitely going to miss them.

Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me. Best of luck in your final track season at West! I know I speak for everyone when I say how much we’ll miss you.