Follow North Yarmouth Academy senior Hannah Austin during her senior outdoor season. Austin finished second in Class C 2 mile a year ago, and returns as one of the individual favorite to win 2 mile title this spring. While she is small in stature she certainly makes up for with her grit & determination.
Wow, I can’t believe that the track season in Maine is officially over! For us seniors, it’s especially strange to think about considering that yesterday, most of us just ran our last races ever as a high school athlete. Congratulations to everyone on their performances yesterday, and to all the seniors for finishing off great high school careers!
At the Class C State Meet yesterday, I ran a lot of events, wanting to do everything one last time. My day started with the 4x8 relay, where my team was trying to get on the medal stand. This is a goal I’ve had since freshman year; I’ve always wanted to stand on the podium with my team. Although we did not end up medaling, we ran a PR time and all ran great 800s, so in the end we were happy. I also ran the 1600, where I got a season best. I was especially happy with this considering that I usually don’t do so great in this race when I run the 4x8 first! Next was the 3200. Knowing that this would be my last 3200 (my favorite distance!) I kind of didn’t want it to end! Though my time was slower than I would have liked, I was overall happy considering I’d already run two other races. After the 3200, I ran the 4x4 with my team, which I really enjoyed, although I’m not much of a sprinter. Although we ended up getting DQ’ed for a lane violation, it was an understandable mistake, and our time would have been very good! Overall, yesterday’s meet was a great way to end my season! I had lots of fun with my teammates when I wasn’t racing, and many of my teammates had amazing performances in their events, which I was really happy about!
Looking back at my senior year of cross country and track, I can’t help but remember the goals that in mind for myself, for both cross country and track, at the start of the school year. It was mostly a list of times I wanted to achieve before I left high school for good. I met none of these goals; however, I gained more from these past three seasons than I could possibly have imagined. This year, I learned that defining a season (or a year) in cross country and track as ‘successful’ does not necessarily mean running fast times. Success is something that you can define in any way that you want to. Though I definitely think that working towards your goal times and achieving them makes you successful, it is not the only thing, something I did not fully understand until this year. At the beginning of the year, I became so wrapped up running fast, and so frustrated when I didn’t, that I sometimes forgot the importance of simply running for the fun of it, and enjoying my time as a high school runner, which was running out. I believed that running fast was the only important thing, and that if I didn’t, my season was a failure. Now, by the end of this year, I have learned that the time I spend running or hanging out with my teammates and friends off the course/track is just as valuable, if not more, as the time I spend on it. I can honestly say that this past season is the one that I define as the most successful, not because of how I did in my races, but because I had an amazing time throughout.
Though I am definitely sad to be officially done with high school running, I am so happy to have been a part of it. Running cross country and track for 12 seasons was the best experience of my whole high school career. The running community in Maine is amazing, and it is going to be hard to leave next year. So, that said, thank you everyone for making high school cross country and track in Maine such an enjoyable, fulfilling experience. I’m going to miss it next year, but am very excited for what’s ahead, and I’ll definitely be around at as many meets as I can get to next year, cheering you all on!