Bailey Stone is a 3rd-year collegiate athlete of track and field and cross country. She competes for Sonoma State year long. While competing in track and field and in cross country, Stone finds that quitting is not an option as she participates even if she is running or not.
With her long history of running throughout high school the sport becomes more than just a hobby, but a part of who Stone is. With a goal to stay healthy for the whole year and to compete in her favorite race, the 800 meter, Stone has had an ongoing battle with an injury in her knee. With all the reasons to stop, Stone continues to step up to the starting blocks and strives to not let her teammates and coaches down.
“I love the competition,” said Stone. Track and field competitions fuel the fire that allows Stone to keep fighting through the ups and downs of the sport.
Stone is “happy to be running” and finds it therapeutic. With a dramatic knee injury last year in March, Stone had to take off all of Cross Country which pushed her out of the running loop.
Even when Bailey can not run she still puts in support to her teammates and coaches. “Bailey has been at every single practice, whether she could run or not,” said Jasmine Casillas.
With the sport of running as the centerpiece of the activity, the mental aspect can be even more daunting than the physical. “I am trying to come back into it not physically but mentally,” said Stone.
With a number to physical ailments, Stone seems to never give in as a full-time students and year long athlete, which is shown in her idols of Colleen Quigley and Emma Coburn. Both are a professional track and field runners, but most importantly they are stars in the eye of Stone due to their mental aptitude to stick with running even after their numerous and similar confidence-shattering injuries.
To have the inability to compete as a runner is not just a physical chore, but a mental challenge. The helplessness of waiting for Stone’s body to recover can only be fostered by a strong mind and a determined will power.
Reminiscing on Stone’s last years meet against Chico State, she got a PR in the 800 meter with a 2:28 time. “[I] went into it not expecting to do well. [I] got out and ran and didn’t see anyone around me. It became a race against me and the clock,” said Stone.
“Bailey is a natural leader, her ability to pump up the team when we need it most is so important on this team,” said Mikayla Mesker, a fellow track and field teammate.
Stone’s contribution to the team is not just limited to just participating in the meet as an athlete, but as participating as a side coach to mentor the runners through both practices and meets.
Senior Track Captain, Taylor Towne, has noticed Stone’s support to the younger teammates. “I know a lot, if not all the younger girls look up to Bailey. She just naturally took them under her wing and has been the person that they go to for anything” said Towne.
As Stone is currently strong enough to run, but not compete in a meet, she always has her eyes on the making her teammate's futures better. Stone has one more year at Sonoma State and she will be apart of the running sports no matter what obstacles get in the way. The women's track and field team have several meets coming up this semester if you want to be apart of them visit the online schedule at Sonoma State sports.