Brooklyn James does soccer, cross country balancing act

The junior helped the Cavaliers varsity soccer team reach the playoffs

Clackamas HS junior Brooklyn James balances soccer and cross country. (KOIN)
Clackamas HS junior Brooklyn James balances soccer and cross country. (KOIN)

CLACKAMAS, Ore. (KOIN) – Brooklyn James does it all at Clackamas High School.

The junior is one of the leaders on the varsity soccer team and also runs on the Cavaliers varsity cross-country team.

“I think they just play off each other like really well,” James, a cross-country team co-captain, said. “I think with cross-country the conditioning part [is really helpful] and going into soccer knowing that I can probably play all 90 minutes of a game – [and] knowing that I have the base of cross-country running – I think that helps a lot.”

James, who finished second at the Mt. Hood Conference district cross-country meet, ran the 5,000 meter course in 19:33.3 to lead Clackamas to a third-place finish and a trip to the state championship meet on Saturday, Nov. 5 at Lane Community College in Eugene.

“I think a team trophy this year would be a really good goal for us, and I think we can do it,” said James.

“The thing with Brook is she doesn’t make cross-country No. 2,” Randy Walruff, the Clackamas head cross-country coach, said. “She makes both sports No. 1 and the coaches work with us real well. She’s been one of the most amazing girls to do a double that I’ve seen. She can make the practices [for both sports and] push through it.”

But things haven’t been easy for James this year. During the summer our Athlete of The Week discovered that she had a stress fracture.

“When I first found out I was pretty devastated,” said James. “I really was concerned about like not being able to-do cross-country and soccer. So thankfully I was able to just power through and get through it – and keep training – and it healed.”

After overcoming that obstacle, James suffered a toe injury during a soccer match in October.

“I found out it [my pinky toe on my right foot] was broken, too,” James said. “They handed me a boot and crutches and I was like, ‘No.’”

On the track, James runs the 800 meters, 1,500 meters and anchors the mile relay team at Clackamas. Last season, she almost the set school record in the 800 meters.

“The school record is 2:17:44, and then my PR [personal record] is 2:17:69,” said James with a smile.

“I really believe that she digs down inside and she pulls those magical moments out,” said Walruff.