May 27, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Two Woodbridge runners, inspired by their courageous mother, celebrate her special day

Rhoda Shaver with her children Sierra and Bryce after a race. (Photos courtesy Shaver family)

Woodridge High runners Sierra and Bryce Shaver ran for their mother this past cross country season.

The two did it with their legs, but even more from their heart.

Sierra and Bryce both stood out during the 2019 season for the Warriors, thinking about their mother Rhoda Shaver of Woodbridge. On Mother’s Day, they’re looking forward to spending time with her.

To see the slide show, please click on the first photo:

Sierra, 17, recently signed with Cal State Monterey Bay to run cross country and track and field in the fall after finishing as an all-Pacific Coast League runner and ending with a season-best time of 18:02 for three miles. Bryce, 16, earned his varsity letter in cross country as a sophomore this past fall.

“My mom amazes me,” Bryce Shaver said. “The way she has tried to come back from what happened last year is such an inspiration.”

Rhoda Shaver, Sierra and Bryce’s mother, experienced heat stroke in a race last summer and spent weeks in the hospital with complications. She was sedated and intubated for several days and ended up suffering acute compartment syndrome (muscle and nerve damage) in her lower left leg. She will have to battle through having drop foot going forward. 

Shaver was a multiple time Boston Marathon qualifier and has placed in numerous trail and road races in Southern California.

Her racing career is on hold, but she is trying to get back to running with the support of her family.

Rhoda Shaver has started running again with a carbon fiber brace that helps pick up her left foot.

“She never complains about it,” Sierra said. “Her foot might hurt on a run or she is a little more sore, but, she just keeps going. She keeps pushing forward. I am more proud of her than ever.”

And so, Bryce and Sierra are fighting even harder for their mom.

“She is the strongest, toughest person that I know,” Bryce Shaver said. “We didn’t know if we would see her again. And now she is trying to run again. It is hard. But she means everything to us. She has always been there for me and I want to be there for her.”

Sierra Shaver and her mother have always been close. Sierra dedicated her senior season to her mother heading into last fall.

“I have always looked up to her,” she said. “My mom is such a fighter. I would do anything for her. I ran as hard as I could for her all season long and I always will. I love her.”

“We are happy to have Rhoda here and want to lovingly, passionately and thoughtfully celebrate all moms,” added Brent Shaver, Rhoda’s husband and father to Bryce and Sierra. “Thank you for always caring!”

–Story courtesy Brent Shaver, For OC Sports Zone