Senior Spotlight: Captain Julia Benes

Monday, September 7 2020 - Levynn Chambers

Senior Julia Benes has had a record-breaking career: Two-time All-City (2018 and 2019), #5 All-Time Top Ten in 3 Miles (at City State 2019 in 18:48), #9 and 10 in All-Time Top Ten Performances (at City State 2019 in 18:48 and City 2019 in 18:53, respectively), #6 and #10 in Sophomore All Performances (at Sectionals 2018 in 19:03 and City 2018 in 19:16, respectively), #7 Freshmen One Time Performances (at St. Charles 2017 in 20:10), #2 Sophomore One Time Performances (at Sectionals 2018 in 19:03), #3 and 4 Juniors All Performances (at City State 2019 in 18:48 and City 2019 in 18:53, respectively), #2 Junior One Time Performances (at City State 2019 in 18:48), and two records in each varsity race she has run more than once. Despite all this, she has remained humble and hardworking. Her consistency and dedication has always been a great example for everyone on the team, but never more so than now. 


  1. How long have you been running?

I've been running since I was little, but my first XC meet wasn't until my freshman year of high school. When I was younger, I was in a track club where I would do little races here and there. 


  1. How did you first start running?

My parents love to run and my mom ran in high school, so they put me and my brothers in a track club along with other sports like soccer, swimming, and gymnastics, but running was the thing that stuck. 


  1. What are your favorite and least favorite things about running?

My favorite thing about running is the team aspect of it. Some of my closest friends from high school are the girls that I met from the team and running really brought us together. I also like how it can be a stress reliever because I remember getting done with a long day of school and going on an easy run with my friends would alleviate the stress of school or other things for a little bit. 


  1. What gets you through a long or difficult run (or race)?

Usually when I'm racing I try to think of a song to sing in my head from start to finish, and trying to remember the lyrics helps me forget about how tired I feel and it ends up making the race go by faster. 


  1. What is your favorite XC tradition?

My favorite tradition is probably the pasta party. The pasta is so good and it's a really fun night. 


  1. Do you have a favorite/least favorite workout or type of run?

My least favorite workout is probably thresholds because it feels closest to what I feel in a race. It's just so exhausting. 


  1. Do you have any advice for new runners?

My advice for new runners is to not put so much pressure on yourself. If you try your best, good things will happen. 


  1. Anything else you want to say for the story?

Justin's Almond Maple Butter is a great pre race snack. 10/10 recommend.


[Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.]