Salute to Seniors: Kassidy Dill (Orono High School)

Name: Kassidy Dill

School: Orono High School 

What was your most memorable race? 

Definitely sophomore year, XC states at Belfast. Not because of time or place, but because it was a race I felt strong in. One that gave me chills when crossing the finish line, and still gives me chills thinking about it to this day, for a long list of reasons. 

Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

My competition most certainly kept me on my toes these past 4 years, but I mean that in the best way. They inspired me to work harder, run faster, and strive to be the best version of myself that I could possibly be. Hannah Steelman, Tia Tardy, Becky Lopez-Anido, Camille Kohala, Katherine Leggat-Barr, Carolyn Todd, the GSA ladies, and so many other extremely fast, amazing girls are the true reason why I'm the runner I am today. I owe a thank you to each competitor that made every race a challenge. 

What was your greatest accomplishment? 

Sportsmanship awards. One of my favorite things about running sports is that everyone is so friendly and supportive. Unlike other sports like basketball or soccer, you get the opportunity to interact with the opposing teams, and I'm so thankful that I come from a school that promotes being supportive and kind of all competitors, not just the ones wearing the same uniform as us. 

If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?

I would change my eating habits freshman year. You probably wouldn't believe me if I told you I used to eat McDonalds before I look back and question how that was even possible. When I began eating healthier, I noticed a difference in results for sure. 

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

When you're so in love with a sport, injuries can really take a toll on you, not only physically, but mentally. I was fortunate to make it through high school without anything too serious happening, but even the small injuries are difficult and scary to deal with. So, anytime that something was bothering me and proposed the possibility of time off or modified workouts, I freaked. I'd consider those moments my biggest obstacles. 

What will you miss the most?

My coaches and my teammates. I cannot explain how truly incredible the running atmosphere at Orono is. Coach White, Coach Dexter, and Coach Libby made practice worth going to. Every single one of my teammates made runs and races more exciting. I am so sad to be leaving them. 

What advice would you give younger athletes?

You can be doing everything correctly at practice and in your training, but you'll eventually reach a wall if you don't have a positive mentality. Coming into high school, I was told running is 40% physical, 60% mental. I chose not to believe this, until I realized I had a bad attitude about my races. I disadvantaged myself before stepping on the starting line by making excuses about why I couldn't go faster or why I slowed down on the last lap. My coaches used to tell me, "You're thinking too much." They were correct. I focused on the pain of the race and how much it was going to hurt, rather than how prepared and ready my legs were to run. I ended up writing the mantra "No Excuses" on my wrist for races my junior and senior year as a reminder to not let the race and all its negative aspects control me. Good runners will go far, but positive runners will go the furthest. 

What influence has your coach has with respect to your performance and overall life goals?

My coaches are the reason I'm the runner and person I am today. They are remarkable people. 

What are your college plans? 

I will be attending the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to run XC and Track. The Division I environment is very competitive and different then high school, but my goals of running fast, staying healthy, and having fun remain the same. 

Who would you like to say thank you to?

Writing a thank you to everyone that's ever believed in me would take a book. Please know if you fit that statement, this is my thank you, without support this journey wouldn't have meant nearly as much. There are some specifics I would like to mention, and that would be my parents, my grandparents, my brother, my coaches, my teammates, and Hannah Steelman.

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