Game Ball: Runner looks to top her achievements


Image used with permission from Esther Fee.

Senior Esther Fee races to the finish line at a 2019 track and field meet at Buena Park High School.

Aaliyah Magana, News Editor

6:20 a.m.: Warm-up jog around neighborhood and six-mile run to Fullerton College

7:30 a.m.: Water and stretch break

8 a.m.: First period Advanced Placement Government/Economics Zoom meeting with social science teacher Greg Del Crognale

This is senior Esther Fee’s schedule — five days a week — to stay fit as a runner on Sunny Hills’ cross country and track and field teams.

Since her season’s tentative start date has been indefinitely postponed, Fee said maintaining a consistent training regimen has become a priority to prepare for her next milestone after setting the Sunny Hills record in the girls 2.25 mile race with a 13:33 mark at the Aug. 31, 2019, Riverside City Meet, according to

“I am proud to have something that I can point to and say, ‘During my time at Sunny Hills, this is what I’ve accomplished,’” Fee said.

In elementary school, Fee said she played soccer for the Fullerton Rangers for 11 years but ultimately decided to pursue running cross country competitively because of how close she was with her girls cross country teammates by the end of her freshman season.

“I don’t think I made the wrong decision considering how much I’ve prospered, but I honestly miss playing soccer,” Fee said.

The senior credited her success to a protein-packed diet, consistent morning routines and six- to seven-minute long pacing during her personal morning practices.

“I rarely took days off even when we didn’t have practice, and I think every single practice run is another opportunity to push yourself to reach your goal,” the runner said.

Fee’s achievements have not gone unnoticed by second-year track and field and cross country head coach Jacob Holloway.

“She is a coach’s dream and does everything the right way to the best of her abilities, which sets the bar high for her teammates,” Holloway said.

Senior Samantha Meija, a cross country teammate and close friend, echoed Holloway’s sentiment.

“I think she became so good at running because of all the hard work and dedication she puts into the practice, which is really motivating for me [as an athlete],” Meija said.

She is a coach’s dream and does everything the right way to the best of her abilities, which sets the bar high for her teammates.”

— Jacob Holloway

Although no meets have been scheduled so far, anything can happen during this year of uncertainty involving the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At this point, I’ve fully convinced myself that the season will happen, and I’ll be disappointed if it is canceled completely,” said Fee, who does not plan to pursue running competitively after she graduates from Sunny Hills but instead wants to focus on earning a degree in forestry.

Fee said she decided to only apply for colleges that offer her scholarships for cross country running.

Going into her last year here, Fee said she is focused on becoming the Freeway League champion for this upcoming season and avenging her lost season-long winning streak from last year.

“My dream goal would be to qualify for state championships and I’m going to train with that goal in mind,” Fee said.

This story originally appeared in the Oct. 30 print issue, which can be read here.