St. Joseph's Catholic Academy's Sera Mazza surprised many last year at the PIAA State Championship by coming from behind, blowing by former champions, and winning the individual Class A crown. Defending her title at state level will not be easy with the amount of talent around the state this year. However, Mazza has already started her 2017 cross country season off strong, most recently getting third at the Ben Bloser Invitational a few weeks ago.
Although she individually is talented, Mazza is hoping to be a lead her team, Saint Joseph's Catholic Academy, to another state title.
"Sera's drive to explore the limits of her potential allows her to excel, as she is very intentional in her training. Her focus on the small things and how they fit in the grand plan enables her to fit her individual goals within the team's" says head St. Joseph's Academy head coach Jayson Jackson.
Mazza took the time to speak with PennTrackXC about her summer training leading into this season and her goals for the fall.
PennTrackXC: What do you work on or focus on during the summer training months?
Sera Mazza: During the summer, the team and I really worked on building up our mileage and our strength (stamina, speed, etc). Also, having the freedom to run a bunch of different places is really cool. I know our team always has and always will enjoy exploring trails and stuff at parks and places.
PTXC: Everyone across the state obviously makes goals for districts and states. Individually or as a team, what are some of the other invites you are looking forward to or have goals for this season?
SM: I am extremely excited about racing at Carlisle, Manhattan, and obviously districts, states, and regionals.
PTXC: Last year, you were the individual state class A champion. What are some goals you have for yourself this cross country season?
SM: I am a junior in high school so a big goal I have been really working towards is being a better leader for the team. This team works on trying to always have some type of team bonding activity planned. We like to have our fun, but we focus on the process of our goals and always running our best so our team can succeed.
PTXC: St. Joseph's Catholic won the PIAA A champs on a tiebreaker last year, does your team have any goals for this season?
SM: Our goal for this season is being more of a family and running for each other. We are always told to focus on what we can control so we must set aside our differences and come together. Another team goal is that everyone just does their best, by running their hardest and then just see what happens.