Salute to Seniors: Katherine Leggat-Barr (Greely High School)


Katherine Leggat-Barr

School: Greely High School

What was your most memorable race?

I would say the state cross country meet both my sophomore and senior years. Sophomore year we won states as a team, coming back from a 6 point deficit from the Regional meet, and it was so exciting to win states as a team since we had been the underdogs coming in. My senior year was also really special to win the team state championship because I felt we had begun the season wanting to win, and to accomplish the goal we had been working for all season was really special. Also, individually, I had had a significant setback the week before, but I ran a significant PR that race, and regained my confidence in myself. In track, I would say the WMC meet my senior year where I PR'ed in the 1600m after playing lacrosse, and had no expectation to do anything close to that.

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

There are so many girls around the state, as well as boys on my team that have pushed me and made me a much better runner. Tia Tardy, Carolyn Todd, Izzy Evans, Abby Hamilton, Hannah Steelman and Kassidy Dill, along with many others, have all been amazing competitors over the years, and I know that I have to bring my absolute A game just to be able to compete with these girls. Also, the boys on my team were a great source of competition, and very humbling as well, as they would routinely beat me, and not seem to ever have any trouble in doing so. :)

What was your greatest accomplishment?

First of all, I wouldn't have achieved anything if it wasn't for my teammates and coaches. I think my greatest accomplishment wasn't one single race, but the journey that running has taken me on and the growth I have made not only as an athlete, but as a person, teammate and leader. Winning the "triple crown" sweep this year as a team was very special, because it showed how deep Greely running is, and cemented what all of my teammates, coaches, previous runners and I have worked so hard to create.

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

I guess I feel that everything happens for a reason, and I feel that all my successes and setbacks alike have made me the runner I am today. I think I have worked my hardest for three years, but school work demands in particular sometimes got in the way of my performances at points. I am not sure whether I could change that, as obviously academic work comes first, but I wish it hadn't gotten in my way as much as it did.

What will you miss the most?

Certainly, first and foremost, I will miss running with all of my amazing teammates at Greely and being coached by all the great mentors who contribute to the Track & XC program. Without a doubt, being a part of that program has been the biggest honor and privilege of my life, and I am very sad my time at Greely has come to an end. I will miss the countless runs through A, B and C loop at Twin Brook, the team dinners with endless amounts of pasta, and the many team sleepovers we had after meets, particularly state meets. I will miss truly all of it, but know that the relationships I have formed will continue to grow stronger in the years ahead.

What advice you would give to younger athletes?

Trust yourself, the process and your teammates and coaches, because bad races and slumps happen, but they are never permanent, and often will teach you something that you didn't know before. Running is a sport that nobody is perfect 100% of the time, so remember that it is okay if a race doesn't go as well as you hoped. My coach always says, "You are only as good as your next race," so learn from it, and then move past it, and don't let it consume you. Also, cherish and enjoy your high school years, because they go by far too quickly, and very soon you will wish you could go back in time!

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

Coach Dowling, as well as all my other coaches, have truly shaped me into the runner I am today. They transformed an individual who didn't know anything about the sport, to a competitor and (usually!) smart trainer. Coach Dowling has such a warmth about him, and always made me feel so much better after setbacks, which allowed me to still have confidence in myself, even after a tough race or stretch of races. He always had confidence in me, which in turn always gave me confidence in myself.

What are your college plans?

I am going to Princeton University, where I am undecided on what I will study, but probably something having to do with Biology or Public Policy. I will also be running XC and Track.

Who would you like to say thank you to?

First of all, I would like to say thank you to my family. My parents have been so supportive over the years, driving me to many meets all over New England, prepping my favorite pre-race meals, and always showering me with the same amount of love no matter how the race went. My brother Tommy is the loudest cheerleader at the race I think, and always gives me such an extra boost when I am getting tired. My brother Elias is a little less enthusiastic, but I thank him for putting up with the long track meets when he would probably rather have been doing something else, but still gave me support throughout. And then, obviously to my coaches and teammates, I wouldn't be anything without you, and will miss all of you so much. I can't think of any better team, and I know you all will continue to carry on the Greely legacy in the years to come.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I have been so blessed to be a part of the Maine running community, and getting to know so many amazing athletes from all parts of this state. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of the competitors but more importantly, friends that have pushed me to be a better athlete and person over the years. I wish you all the best in the years to come!

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