Harris Comes in the Top 10 at State

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Harris Comes in the Top 10 at State

Lilliana Schalck, Staff Writer

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Jesse Owens, a famous runner, once said, “We all have dreams.  But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” The sport cross country consists of running on a track at golf courses, trails, or even the road itself at times.  The challenge of this sport is not only who can run the fastest, but who can run the terrain and how long the athlete can run.  Though the sport is simply running,

there is a great deal of work that goes into it.  One person who puts in all the work is Alyssa Harris, eighth grader.  Harris just recently placed ninth in the state for cross country and has a future in this sport.

Harris has only been running cross country for a short amount of time, and she started running by chance.  Harris said, “Both of my siblings ran and at one of their meets.   Mr.  Alessandro asked me if I would run too.  I ended up running the meet and doing pretty well and continued to run after that.”  Harris already excelled at other sports, and her work ethic carried over to cross country.  Mr. Aaron Lense, middle school cross country coach, said, “She runs fast. She brings an awesome attitude, and everyone loves Alyssa.”  Maggie Schroder, Highlands High School sophomore, was the individual Kentucky state champion for cross country.  Mr. Lense said, “She could be in Maggie Schroder’s footsteps, and be the individual state champion.”

Placing ninth at state, Harris was the only eighth grader in the school to place in the top ten.  In preparing for the big race, Harris’s positive attitude came through.  Harris said, “Training before obviously prepped me the most for the race, but on the actual day, I just spent the morning not focusing on how big the race was, but just having fun with my friends on the bus ride.  A few hours before the race I started to mentally prep myself for what was going to happen if I did well, or if I did bad and how I needed to be happy with myself no matter what came out of the race.”

Physical training is always important, but mental training is just as significant.  As Harris was running the race, she had lots of energy and a good state of mind.  “As soon as the gun went off to start the race all of my worries and thoughts just went away.  All I was thinking about was my strategy in running, and who I have to beat.  I also like to remind myself that everyone I’m running with is in pain and trying to win which helps me personally run faster,” said Harris.

When Harris finished the race, she came off the track with joy. Harris said, “It felt great!  I came off the course super proud rather than thinking about the tiredness or soreness.  I will never forget that race and how amazing it felt to get ninth in that big of a race with great competitors.” Not only was she proud for herself, but proud to be a member of this team.  Mr. Lense said, “I was really excited for her.  She kept getting better and better, and we didn’t know where she was going to finish because she was extremely nervous before the race.”

Harris is very proud of herself and her team’s performance at state.  Ruby Smith, eighth grader, and Harris’s teammate said, “She has a positive attitude and is fun to be around.”  Harris showed that she has the determination, dedication, and self-discipline to achieve her dreams.