Runner leaves allergies in dust

Athletes know there are challenges associated with improving their skill. They are stretched and tested, sometimes leading them to feel discouraged. Taylor Guske, senior exercise science major and cross country runner, looks at the challenges he has overcome as an opportunity to give all the glory to God.

After transferring to California Baptist University last fall, Guske discovered he had allergies associated with pollen and grass that were hindering his ability to run well. As a result, his cross country competition season did not go as well as he hoped.

Ben Gall, head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country teams, made sure Guske stayed focused on the game plan they implemented for him.

“The plan was to focus long-term. When he got here last year, he struggled a lot, especially in the fall. He had a lot of adaptation issues since this is his third school,” Gall said. “The plan was to look forward to this year and what he could do both individually and as an older member of the team.”

Gall said he believes the challenges associated with Guske’s allergies made him stronger and brought him closer to God. As a result, he has more confidence in his ability to perform well in competitions.

Considering Guske won first place at the PacWest Conference Championship on Nov. 8, and recently won the PacWest Runner of the Year award, his skill as a runner has increased since last season.

Guske said he looks at his improvements this year as something to reflect on. He said he would not have been able to improve so much between seasons if it had not been for his struggles with allergies.

“God used my allergies to get a hold of me and put me on the right path,” Guske said. “When I crossed the finish line at the championship, I felt a sense of appreciation for all I have gone through in the last year.”

Remaining humble through everything has been Guske’s primary focus this season while accumulating the honors he has earned.

“I have worked hard this season, but I’ve also learned how to maintain a relentless attitude to persevere through challenges. But I never want to get too worked up,” Guske said. “I just want to give all the glory to God.”

About Grace Allen

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