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Cross Country: Battling back – Runner returns after injury

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, October 21, 2017
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Pushing herself along the rugged terrain of a cross country course, Rose Powers can often feel the jarring in her back.

It’s pain that over the past few years the Paradise senior has learned to manage.

BACK TO FORM – Paradise’s Rose Powers will run in the Region I 3A race Monday in Lubbock. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“Sometimes I don’t feel it. It’s something that I’ve learned to live with,” Powers said. “When race time comes, I just go and push through it the best I can. There’s people that live with worse.”

Powers will run Monday in the Class 3A Region I championship race with her Lady Panther teammates. Powers missed her entire junior season recovering from a pair of bulging discs, tears in her L5 vertebrae and a fracture.

“I don’t know when I did it,” Powers explained. “My thought is it was at a tumbling practice my freshman year. I tried to do a back handspring and it didn’t turn out right.”

At the end of her sophomore year, the pain sidelined her. She underwent a series of injections to regenerate the nerves and give her relief. She attempted to come back and run a few track meets last spring but didn’t make a full comeback until this summer.

“It was pretty important to get back for my senior year. Last year, I was out of everything and didn’t know what to do with myself,” Powers said. “It’s good to be back.”

Paradise coach Karin Essig knows the hard work Powers put in to get back on the course.

“She’s battled a lot. All last year, she struggled to get back,” Essig said. “I’m hoping she has a big day Monday.”

Powers ran a 14:31 on the 3,200-meter course at the 8-3A meet in Boyd Oct. 23. Her best time this season is 14:25 at the Ken Gaston Invitational at Lynn Creek Park Sept. 28.

This will be her first trip to regionals Monday.

“I’m nervous. Every girl has worked their tail off and deserve to win,” Powers said.

Long term, Powers hopes her back continues to improve.

“I can do strengthening exercises. I hope it’ll calm down after I’m done with all my activities,” Powers said.

But she’s not looking to wrap up her cross country career soon mainly because of the time around her teammates.

“[Hannah Beth Pearson] and I have been a little nervous these last few practices not knowing if this will be our last meet,” Powers said. “We wake up and run together every day.”

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