The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

Snapshots of senior year: on third place, ducky shorts and cross country

Derrick Lee
From left to right: sophomore Alyssa Shah, seniors Liana Lee, Abigail Kapur, Norah El-Banna and Nikitha Bangalore, sophomore Ananya Krishnan and junior Amy Qiu, the girls varsity team, placed third at the NCS Championships on Nov. 18.

Dear reader,

My last high school cross country race ended in disappointment. The top two teams qualify for the state championships, and my team placed third. There’s not much you can say to make that better — in some ways it still feels like a failure.

The end of my last cross country season is only the first in a long series of goodbyes that I will have to make throughout senior year. It’s also the most painful.

But as I say goodbye to the sport that has been my second home throughout high school, there is no space for my disappointment or regrets. I find myself only grateful for the sport that has given me some of my best memories and closest friends. 

I’ve been a runner for the past six years. The thing about running is that you can never really stop training without losing fitness. So I alternate between cross country and track with the school team and training during the off-seasons with my club. I don’t think I’ve ever taken more than a week off of running in the last four years. That, combined with being a sports editor for the Tribune, has meant that high school sports are a huge part of my life.

I find myself only grateful for the sport that has given me some of my best memories and closest friends. 

Most high school athletes must feel the same — my teammates and I always joke that we’ve spent so much time together that the end of the season gives us a welcome break from each other. But memories of wasting time before practice and making each other laugh during workouts have kept me motivated to run for the past four years, even when no bone in my body wanted to move. 

Running may not seem like a team sport, especially when we’re chasing individual personal records, but my team pushes me to train harder and race faster. They have made me a better athlete and person. So when I think about my team, I’ll remember our matching rubber ducky shorts, lip glosses and all the memories that I have made because of my sport. Don’t get me wrong — I like running itself, but I love cross country because I love my team.

The end of my last cross country season has left me with a strange sense of grief. I’m so used to the weekly routine: morning practice on Monday, after-school practice from Tuesday to Thursday and long runs or races on Saturday. I have come to rely on the stability and comfort I find within my team.

But as much as I love the exhausted, elated feeling of finishing a race, I am looking forward to days that aren’t governed by my workout schedule or waking up for morning practice. Part of me can’t wait to stop counting up my weekly mileage.

I’ve reached most of my goals: making varsity, competing at the regional championships and leaving cross country behind without regrets. So while not making it to the state championships still hurts, I know I’ve pushed myself as far as I could, and I’m determined to be satisfied with that. 

Saying goodbye to sports is always bittersweet. I still have track season ahead of me, but it won’t be the same without my teammates. All I have left to say is that it was never a waste — all the time spent training for my sport or watching other Dougherty teams compete. For better and sometimes for worse, high school sports have made me who I am today. No matter the sport or season, I’m always cheering for the Wildcats. 


Signing out,


Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Abby Kapur
Abby Kapur, Sports Editor
Abby joined the Wildcat Tribune on a whim and stayed for the wonderful people she found. Her goal for this year is to leave the sports section better than it used to be. In her free time, Abby loves to run with her team, get coffee with her friends, and bake with her sister. A fun fact about Abby is that she has watched her favorite movie, Knives Out, at least seven times. If Abby could be anybody on the Tribune, she'd be Luna (past Tribune member), because of the unique, attentive way she sees the world.

Comments (0)

All The Wildcat Tribune Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest