The Iliad

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Iliad

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Iliad

BYU bound

Buswell commits for cross country
Courtesy of Tessa Buswell

   Senior Tessa Buswell is no stranger to the spotlight. A cross country state champion, nationally ranked 800m specialist, and All-American athlete, 17-year-old Buswell has achieved a level of  success in her respective field that most people spend their whole lives working towards.

Initially a dual sport athlete, Buswell made the permanent switch to solely distance running her junior year and hasn’t looked back since. A team captain of both cross country and track since
freshman year, she led both into the most successful four years of their history at Poway. Buswell led the girls’ varsity cross country team to a San Diego Division II CIF championship in 2021 and to state twice in 2021 and 2023, and in girls’ track and field to back-to-back San Diego championships in 2021 and 2022.

Sophomore Madison Li is one of the many underclassmen who aspire to live up to the legacy Buswell will leave behind. “Her work ethic and dedication inspire all of us on the team. She’s almost superhuman, in a sense,” Li said.

   Running track in college was always a part of Buswell’s plan, and a logical step closer to her ultimate goal of representing the United States at the Olympics. She went into the recruitment process
with an open mind, apart from one small weather-related reservation.

   “I am a very independent person and location was not too big of a factor for me. I just didn’t want to go anywhere extremely cold,” Buswell said.

    After many tours and conversations with coaches, Buswell narrowed her list of colleges down to six: the University of Southern California (USC), the University of Oregon, Vanderbilt University, the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), Brigham Young University (BYU) and Oklahoma State University. Buswell officially revealed that she would sign with BYU Jan. 24. She credits the incredible program and coaching staff as what set BYU apart from other schools she considered.

“I wanted a team that would push me to grow, and a coach that really believed in, and wanted the best for, their athletes. Someone who valued the mental and physical health of their athletes just as much as the results, and I found that in Coach Taylor,” Buswell said.

The BYU women’s cross country and distance track programs are coached by Diljeet Taylor, and are considered to be some of the best in the nation.

   Buswell’s coach of two years, Ronald “Ronnie” Harris could not be more proud. “Tessa is such a star, and I know she will accomplish great things at BYU,” Harris said. Buswell intends to go out with a bang in her last-ever high school track season. To watch one of the most talented athletes at Poway, be sure to attend the first home track meet on Feb. 22.

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