While our fellow Floridian’s were trudging through the mud soaked courses, Bishop Kenny, Creekside, Ft. Myers, Holy Trinity, and Winter Park got to run in some perfect weather in Cary, North Carolina. The temperature was low, the course was dry, and the surface was fast, an absolutely perfect day for cross country in a beautiful state.
Our team arrived the day before and enjoyed the beautiful scenery that fall offers up north. The leaves were changing colors, there was more than one kind of tree, and it was a fantastic break from the old familiar sights of Florida. We got in a good run on the course and then headed out for a team dinner at Maggiano’s. With stomachs full, we headed back for our hotel for some free time. We even got to sleep in because our race was scheduled for 10:40.
The race for me came with mixed feelings. First complete despair, because I just had one of those days where my head was in it, but my body refused to go with me. I had an absolutely horrible race and struggled to the line in 17:09. I was extremely upset about my race, and I didn’t really want to talk to anybody. The second emotion I experienced was jubilation. When I heard what my teammates ran I couldn’t help but be happy for them. They all ran huge PR’s and proved to everyone just how good we really are. We had three sophomores run under 16:40 and that is an incredible feat!
Another amazing thing that happened during that race was the reassurance of just how unified my team is. Late in the race I find myself trying so hard but unable to keep a good pace. Just then my teammate since middle school, Connor McClure, flies by me on his way to break 17 for the first time. For a split second he looks back at me, and takes time and energy out of his race to yell at me in attempt to pull me along with him. It was this selfless act of caring that helped me through the last half mile of that horrible race. Without the support of my teammates to pick me up when things go wrong I don’t know how I would ever run well at all.
Great American was an incredible experience all in all. For me it was amazing for every reason except the race, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.