When did you start running?
As a fifth grader at Amherst Middle School, Cross Country was just about the only sport anyone could do until the seventh grade, when kids were allowed to try out for other sports. As a result, nearly everyone started Cross Country in fifth grade, and I was no exception – although I was a part of a smaller group of people (who are now some of my closest friends) that never stopped.
Briefly describe the experience as a member of your team/program. Give an example of some of the “fun” stuff your team does together.
Although my team works hard, I’ve had a blast with my teammates over the course of the last three years. Even when I was just a freshman, the girls’ team was and still is huge on tradition and team bonding. Whether it’s pump-up CDs or pasta parties, my team has always acknowledged the importance of being not just a team, but also a family, and after I graduate I will definitely miss them like one.
How does your coach motivate you?
Like I said, our team is like a family, and our coaches are no exception. Our coaches are like dads to us – they’re hard on us when they need to be, tell it like it is, kid us relentlessly, and are everybody’s best friends. When we run, we don’t just run for ourselves or our teammates. We also run to make our coaches proud, and maybe to get them to dye their hair pink or get their nails done as well.
What is your go-to prerace meal?
It’s not very exciting, but you can’t go wrong with a pasta dinner the night before a race to set you up for success. Usually, I have spaghetti with turkey meat sauce and salad. Also, a little ice cream the night before never hurt anyone.
Do you have a favorite prerace song?
I don’t usually listen to music before racing, but I will always be up to jamming out with my team to songs ranging from Eminem to High School Musical on the bus rides to and from meets.
What is the best advice ever given to you?
My Chemistry teacher once told me that if you haven’t set your goals so high that people laugh at them, they aren’t high enough. Obviously, there is only so much you can achieve in a short amount of time and goals should be realistic, but his advice always reminds me to look at the bigger picture and keep working at those elusive long-term goals.
What is your favorite quote?
Of the many mantras passed down over the years to live on within the current girls’ cross country team at Souhegan, one always sticks out to me as my favorite, and is easily recognizable to other teams when we shout it at the tops of our lungs on the start line: “She who has the will to win cannot be beaten!”
What is your favorite thing about Cross Country?
In my experience with Cross Country, I’ve always been intensely proud of the truly supporting and loving community that Cross Country runners, teams, and families create. Whether they are from another team or even another state, I’ve never once felt anything but positivity from my competitors, and even when our sport gets extremely serious, any runners who wouldn’t turn around at the finish line to give the next person a hug or a pat on the back are few and far in between.