All-Bee Teams

2010 Girls Cross Country All-Star Team

Class: Senior

She's qualified because: Repeat Bee girls Runner of the Year successfully defended her Central Section Division I title at Woodward Park in 17 minutes and 58 seconds before returning to the same site two weeks later and delivering a 17:33 for seventh place in the CIF State Championship D-I race. That's best all-time within the natural boundaries of the section and, technically, No. 2 in the section only to Jordan Hasay (17:02) of Mission Prep-San Luis Obispo, a coastal school no longer affiliated with the section.

The appearance smacks of routine, but that's where it ends.

Yes, Macy Bricks won the 2009 Central Section Division I cross country title, led Buchanan High to the team crown, was a top 10 medalist in the CIF State Championships and was named The Bee's girls Runner of the Year.

And, yes, she repeated her section D-I title in the 2010 meet, led the Bears to a runaway team crown, placed once again in the state finals and returns as The Bee's girls Runner of the Year.

But consider what happened in between.

She was robbed, and by a thief dreaded by anyone who's ever run distance for recreation or competition – a stress fracture.

It's a tiny crack in a bone caused by the repetitive application of force, often by overuse – and no one's more susceptible than long distance runners who abuse weight-bearing bones of the lower leg.

Further, only long-distance runners in all of high school athletics participate in essentially a double season – cross country and track and field.

And the devil initialed "S.F." snuck up on Bricks last spring and zapped her on the track.

"Never had I been hurt before," she says.

But she was hurt now, her lower right leg debilitated – "It hurt to walk" – and virtually reducing her junior track and field season training to water.

"I was pretty much in the pool the whole season."

For all of Brick's career achievements at Buchanan, perhaps none was greater than running through the pain and still placing second in the section Grand Masters' 1,600-meter race in 5:03.53 last May.

But yet what a setback for the athlete who won the 1,600 (4:57.70) and placed second in the 3,200 (10:53.27) in the Grand Masters as a sophomore a year earlier.

Further, the injury spawned doubt for her upcoming senior year.

"In the beginning of the cross country season, I wasn't sure," she says. "It was a mental thing, especially getting back in shape."

Progressively, the discomfort lessened. She timed 18:12 in the Clovis Invitational at Woodward Park in early October – fine, but a binocular-look distance behind her 17:35 that buried the Central Section finals D-I field in 2009.

"In the beginning of the [2010] cross country season to the middle, I still had some [discomfort]," she says. "I just had to calm down about it."

The pain would fade, she'd win the section D-I race Nov. 12 at Woodward in 17:58 and then the kicker – a school-record 17:33 for seventh place in the state D-I final two weeks later.

Imagine that in August? "No, I didn't feel that would happen at all. I was told I could, but I didn't really know. I didn't know until I had girls push me at state and I actually did it."

That broke the school record of 17:35 she had shared with Lauren Saylor. And, conscious of that, Bricks raised her eye level to see her official time displayed digitally above the state finish line.

"I was looking," she says. "I did because I was trying to break that [17:35] time, which was my goal. I was so excited. Then I saw all our girls come in under 19 [minutes for a third-place team finish]. Everything was exciting."

She has since accepted a scholarship offer to Arizona State, and Buchanan coach Brian Weaver applauds: "She developed a love for running, wanted it to go beyond high school and it opened doors. She was very determined and her mental attitude was amazing. Her fitness level [following the injury] just kept getting better and she took off."