When Nadia Tabrizi began her running career, her first significant race was no small task—the LA Marathon. Invited in the seventh grade by a friend to join Students Run LA (SRLA), Tabrizi trained alongside other classmates on her way to conquering the 26.2-mile course.
“Prior to this I had no background in running, and I didn’t like running.” says Tabrizi. “But there’s this incredible feeling that you get after a long run. It’s my step away from the world where I can have this place of my own.”
The JSerra Catholic High School senior has made an indelible mark on the school’s cross-country program. A four-time Trinity League Champion, Tabrizi knows that beyond the physical training, it is the mental toughness that pushes runners to achieve their goals.
“When you’re running, there are so many times during a race when your brain is telling you, no, and it’s trying to keep you away from the pain,” says Tabrizi. “But you really have to step out of your comfort zone. It helps tremendously if you have a great mindset.”
After initially viewing cross country as strictly an individual sport, the 18-year-old now sees the rewards of competing as a team and racing for each other. She and her fellow Lions finished 10th place in the state in Division 4.
“I’m definitely going to miss my team and what we’ve created over these past four years,” says Tabrizi. “I don’t just think of these girls as my teammates, but as my sisters.”
Tabrizi also runs track for JSerra and will spend the spring season competing in the 1600 and 3200 meter races.
“Nadia has really grown and matured over her four years at JSerra, blossoming from a timid freshman to a senior unafraid to compete at the highest level,” says JSerra cross country head coach, Martin Dugard. “She is a joy to coach.”
Last summer, Tabrizi interned with Jolyn, a swimsuit and active wear company, where she had the opportunity to work with designers in developing additions to their product line.
“It was cool to see my designs be made into prototypes, and then see those prototypes really come to life and go on the market,” says Tabrizi.
A unique aspect of competing for JSerra is the team’s pre-race ritual of running to Mission San Juan Capistrano. While there, the Lions take time to step inside the historic buildings and pray to God.
“That really helps me before the race, to know that he’s there with me,” says Tabrizi.
The San Clemente resident has committed to the University of California, Berkeley, fulfilling a long-time dream of running for the Pac-12. She is grateful for the impact Coach Dugard has had on her career thus far.
“It’s crazy to see how much he loves this sport,” says Tabrizi of Dugard. “He puts in so much of his time, for us. It’s incredible.”