Bolles senior Rachel Shapiro announced her college commitment to Davidson College. Shapiro, an instrumental part of the Bulldog's success in cross country and track was one of three cross country runners to pick the North Carolina school joining Niceville's Ciara Coger and Trinity Prep's Trent Turbyfill.
Shapiro is a 4x state qualifier in track for the 3,200m and was a member of the school's winning 4x800m relay the past three years. The school has won three state titles and a runner-up finish in the last four years in class 2A. On the cross country course, she has been a consistent scorer for one of the state's best programs that has won four consecutive Cross Country Finals Championships from 2012 to 2015 and a runner-up finish in 2016.
We caught up with her to ask about the recruiting process, her favorite moments in the Bolles uniform, and more.
What was the recruiting process like for you?
I really enjoyed my recruiting process. I loved talking to different coaches and learning about programs along the east coast. It truly is a special experience to be able to travel and visit different campuses.
Where all did you visit/consider?
Up until about two months ago, my college list still had about eight colleges on it. However, after taking three officials this fall, (University of Richmond, Cornell, and Davidson) I was confident that I would be happy at any of those three schools.
What sold you on Davidson?
In the end, I believe Davidson College was the best fit for me. I love the academic, athletic, and community aspect the school offers. I love the academic rigor they offer, as well as personal relationships with the professors. Also, the team atmosphere they had was truly something special and reminded me of what we have here at Bolles.
You were also awarded the Bryan Scholarship which is worth around 30k per year. Can you talk a little more about that and what it means to win that?
When I got the call that I was awarded the Bryan Scholarship, I could not have been more excited. It feels great to be attending Davidson next year, and even better to be able to take a little bit of the financial pressure off of my family.
You've been a major part of the success of Bolles both in cross country and track. Four cross country championships and a runner-up finish, three state titles in track and two runner-up finishes, three championships in the 4x8, etc. What have been some of your favorite moments?
At the end of the day, the memories I've made and bonds I've formed with my coaches and teammates is what I will remember about my time here at Bolles. I could not be more grateful for that. Some of my favorite memories are made while traveling with the team, especially our New York trip this past fall.
Saturday will mark your 6th XC Finals. What makes each one so enjoyable? What would it be like to win your 5th championship with this group of girls?
States is always a fun trip for our team to make. We have lots of fun traditions and I can't wait to hand out our varsity shirts. A fifth championship would mean a lot with this team, especially as our team is so young. On Saturday, we hope to all have our best performances of the season and show everyone how hard we have been working.
Talk about the senior class and some of the girls you've had the pleasure of running with over this time that signed with you today.
I love our senior class! Nia and Monet are two of the most talented, hard working girls I know and are always so fun to be around. It's been a pleasure getting to know them better through out the past few years. Caitlin has been one of my best friends since elementary school and watching her become the runner and person she is has been a blessing. She is the epitome of hard work and dedication and serves as a role model to the whole team. I cannot wait to see what she accomplishes at Stanford and look forward to always staying in touch.
What are your goals for the remainder of your senior year?
My goals for the rest of my senior year are breaking my PR's. It'd be really nice to finish out my last year in high school with my fastest times.
What do you hope to accomplish at Davidson and what are you looking forward to the most about the next level?
At Davidson, I hope to reach my full potential both academically and athletically. I look forward to seeing what I am capable of accomplishing.
Lastly, is there anything else you'd like to add or anyone you'd like to say thank you too?
I'd like to thank my family for all the support over the years and my phenomenal teammates who have made my cross country and track experience that much better! I want to say thank you to Coach Amelia for all of her advice and meeting me to run everyday over the summer. Lastly, I cannot thank Coach Ryan enough for everything over the years. The amount I have learned from him is incredible and I loved having him as a coach. It will be hard to say goodbye, but I know I will always keep in touch. (if he answers my texts)