The BYU women’s cross country team lives by these three words — “run for her.”
Whittni Orton, a junior on the team, said head coach Diljeet Taylor stresses to the team the importance of remembering when they fell in love with running.
“(Coach Taylor) just says, ‘Run for her. Run for the little girl, the little version of yourselves that fell in love with the sport. Think back to your past and when you maybe had some big moments that brought you to love the sport,'” Orton said.
Olivia Hoj, another junior on the team, explained that after Taylor came to BYU, the team came up with this motto as a means to bring the team together.
“We came up with it as a term for our sisterhood among all the girls running on the team,” Hoj said. “I think it just comes back to — when it gets hard, do it for each other. Do it because you are a member of a team and you are a part of something bigger than just yourself.”
Orton mentioned that this common love for running is what brings them together.
“We all love to run, it’s why we’re here, and we can all bond over that and share our experiences,” Orton said.
According to Taylor, she is most proud of the sisterhood the team has developed.
“(The team has) worked really hard over the past three years on building that sisterhood,” Taylor said. “The best thing about our team right now is the sisterhood and the unity that they have.”
Orton said cross country is anything but easy and that’s why the motto means so much to the team.
“Coach Taylor always gives (the team) perspective that is really good for us because sometimes it’s hard to really understand why we are doing (cross country) because it’s a hard sport,” Orton said.
Hoj agreed that sometimes it’s difficult to remember the ‘why,’ especially at a collegiate level, but that this has helped remind the team that it’s worth it.
“You know it can be easy to (forget the why) when you’re so focused in college,” Hoj said. “Just go back to remembering why you do all the hard things, why you make all the sacrifices and just remember that you’re doing it because you love it.”
According to Taylor, the team’s unity and camaraderie are what will determine their success as a team.
“They’re working really hard. They’re fit. They’re talented. They’re in good shape,” Taylor said. “But the camaraderie and the team culture and just the way they carry themselves and how they treat each other — those are the things that I know will make a good team.”