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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Photo credit: Nick Shockey /
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

Humbly dedicated

Cross-country runner Shelby Vollmer, 19, credits her coach for her accomplishments and includes her father as a strong influence. Teri Barth | [email protected]

It’s taken quite a bit of hard work though for Vollmer to be where she is today according to head coach Marisa Avendano.

“Shelby’s done really great,” said Avendano. “Her times have dropped so much and that’s because of her hard work and dedication, not only to herself but to the team as well.”

Vollmer hasn’t always excelled, however, says Avendano.

“We’d been to several courses that she’s run when she was in high school and she wasn’t one of the best high school runners out there,” explained Avendano. “Last year she was running decent and then she got hurt. After that her running mechanics were a little different.”

Vollmer says the injury left her feeling frustrated and discouraged.

“It was terrible,” Vollmer said. “I just didn’t like watching other people do the workouts if I couldn’t be doing it. I could see them getting so much farther ahead of me and then I had to know that I was going to have to do so much work to catch up to them later.”

But Vollmer didn’t just catch up to her teammates—she passed them.

Vollmer says she couldn’t have made such improvements without her coach.

“She’s the one who makes the workouts and who tells me what to do,” said Vollmer. “I just do it.”

Avendano says Vollmer’s improvement is impressive.

“Her running mechanics have just gotten so much better,” said Avendano. “Today, I was watching her with my assistant coach [Chris Rios] and I was like ‘wow’ she just looks so different than she did a year and a half ago.”
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Vollmer says her father, a City College alumni and cross-country runner, had a big influence on her decision to start running when she was a freshman in high school. Vollmer immediately fell in love with the sport.

“Once I started in high school, I loved it,” she said. “I was like, now I can eat whatever I want and don’t have to worry about it. It’s just a good way to stay fit and be a part of a team too.”

Fellow cross-country runner Brandon Hill says that Shelby’s dedication to the team is undeniable.

“Shelby always has goals and her goals always include the team,” said Hill. “She wants both herself and the team to succeed.”

According to Hill, Vollmer is more than just a part of a team — she’s a good example for her teammates.

“Shelby is prepared for every meet,” said Hill. “She is always on time to practice, she’s always focused and she gets us motivated when she leads the team workouts.”

As a runner, Vollmer says her proudest moment so far has been making it to the California State Championships.

“I get to compete against the best people in California,” said Vollmer. “It’s so much pressure but it’s so much fun – I love it.”

And it’s a good thing that Vollmer doesn’t mind the pressure — she’s also pressured for time. In addition to training, Vollmer is completing general education units at City College before pursuing a veterinary major at Davis.  Vollmer also has a boyfriend, enjoys horseback riding, and still finds time to spend with friends. Vollmer says she feels that she excels at motivating herself.

“If I know I need to run, I’ll get out there and run at 11 o’clock at night or I’ll run in the rain if it’s necessary,” said Vollmer.

As for making time for all the other stuff, Vollmer says her method is simple: “You just cram it all in where ever you can and somehow, it all gets done.”

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