As a freshman in 2017, Jason Crow had a successful year for the boys cross country team. He finished the season with a time of 18:05.80, which was good for 46th place out of 171 runners at the state meet. The team finished in fifth place overall at the meet, which was the best finish for the boys' team in school history.
However, during the summer before his sophomore year, Crow noticed he was having some trouble running.
"I noticed that after about 1200-1600 meters, which is up to a mile, I would run perfectly fine. Then, I would get hit with this almost crippling pain in my ankles and this paralyzing feeling up my left leg," Crow said.
Crow said he described it to his doctor as if his ankles "were carrying thousands of pounds."
It turned out Crow, now a junior, had a rare condition called Compartment Syndrome.
Crow said his friend, Joe Kirby, recommended he visit Dr. Bradley Sloan to get it checked out.
"(Kirby) said that Dr. Sloan had been a runner in the past and would understand it from my point of view. I had gone in to complain about my symptoms, and he had said that I had Illiotibial Band Syndrome, which is minor and then the possibility of Compartment Syndrome," Crow said. "I was referred to Dr. (Jody) McAleer of JCMG Podiatry for further information. I was also tested under Dr. McAleer by MRI to confirm that I more than likely had Compartment Syndrome."
When he heard about this condition, Crow said he was concerned but curious.
"I was rightly concerned as soon as I heard this was rare from Dr. Sloan," Crow said. "I was curious and did my own research and saw that surgery was often a fix for my particular kind of Compartment Syndrome. I have exertional chronic compartment, which means it happens only when I exercise or do a specific task."
Crow said he is going to see an expert in St. Louis on Dec. 12 to see what can be done about his condition. Crow said the condition can be treated with some kind of therapy, but it is more than likely he will have to have surgery.
The doctors have not really told Crow about how this could affect his ability to run cross country in the future, he said.
"I am prepared to be told that I will more than likely never run at my best again, since any surgery doesn't 100 percent fix you or 100 percent let you be your best," Crow said.
Despite this setback, Crow said being all-state is his definite goal if he returns to running.
"I have watched the progression of one of my teammates, Caden Kirksey, and saw how close he got, even being in a higher class," Crow said. "If I do return, we will be back in Class 2 as opposed to Class 3. I do believe I can do it with dedication, but at this point, all I can say is it is a stretch."
Being unable to run is the worst part of having this condition for Crow, especially when the team was close to being an all-state team the last time he competed in a cross country season.
"It really makes me sad when looking back on my freshman year what I could have done," Crow said. "The goals I set were achievable, and I feel like because of what I have developed that I have let my team down. Especially my freshman year, when we were two points shy of being an all-state team. That's three places I could've pushed to get towards, and we would've been the first California all-state cross country team. It makes it very hard to look back upon. We were proud to have made history and that is great, but still disappointed that we could've done better. I guess that's the case with anything, but it still bothers me to this day. All I can hope and wish for is to run for our high school one last time."