Will Shaughnessy is a senior at Brunswick High School. A year ago he finished fifth in the Class A XC state meet running16:06.34.
The Season of Lasts
Well, here we are. Senior year. Crazy how that whole "time" thing works. I'm entering my fourth cross country season of my high school career, and also my last. It feels weird now that I've actually written it down. So begins the season of lasts. This is the last high school XC team I will compete alongside. In a couple months, I'll race my last KVAC championship. Then my last regionals. Then my last states. I'll turn around after the finish line at states and watch as one by one, some of my best friends cross the line. This will be the last time I'll watch them do this. But that's the way it goes. Part of the journey is the end.
It saddens me that this will be my last high school XC season, yet this is the season I am most excited about. 4 years ago, I was just a young gun with something to prove. I battled my teammate Cam Ashby every race, each of us wanting to beat the other for the top spot on our team. Sophomore year I battled an onslaught of bone injuries that knocked me down so many times, I wasn't sure I'd be able to get back up. Junior year I finally established myself as one of Maine's top runners, and learned the valuable lesson that you should always run through the line at the end of a race(shoutout Tcoff). I've learned a lot over the course of those three seasons. As yoda once said, "the greatest teacher, failure is." Those words have become very true to me. I believe both my failures sophomore year and successes junior year have prepared me for this final season. This is the culmination of everything I've worked towards for the past three years.
And so it is with you, my fellow seniors. This is your last high school XC season too. Before you know it, you too will cross the line of your last race. You'll reflect on the season and wonder: Did I give everything I had to give? And I just don't mean physically. Yes, of course you want to push yourself to the edge of what's possible and fulfill your own personal potential. That is the true essence of our sport. But you also need to ask yourself: What is my legacy? What mark did I leave? You don't have to rewrite the record books to leave a legacy. We can't all be Lisandro Berry-Gaviria. Start some new traditions on your team to bring everyone closer together. Meet some new people this season from other schools. Introduce yourself on the starting line and congratulate people at the finish line. Sure running a PR is great, but quite frankly, no one will remember that. Sportsmanship and kindness will always be remembered; that is the ultimate legacy.
I wish you all the best of luck this season!