Called To Lead

Called To Lead

Julia Fenerty, Writer

A captain is a leader, supporter, friend, and role model, but these girls take the role to a whole new level. Juniors Nicole Clermont and Kate Hartnett are this year’s cross country captains, along with senior Fiona Moynihan. Captains are almost always seniors due to their experience, but with the limited number of seniors involved in the program this year, the coaches turned to Clermont and Hartnett to lead the team. The girls were told at last year’s Cross Country banquet, and at first they were apprehensive.

Hartnett explains: “I felt surprised, but I did feel prepared because I have been doing track for three years now and know the coaches and team members well. I was surprised to be picked as a junior though, and for cross country especially because last year was only my first year doing XC.”

Clermont adds: “I was really shocked and a little nervous at first especially because Kate and I had only done one season of XC and then we were named captains as juniors. But after reflecting on that night, I was really excited and up for the challenge!”

Being a captain is a large role, and raises expectations for the girls. Hartnett explains: “I have to make sure I am showing up to practices and meets and giving 100 percent  every day as a good example for my team.”

Although they are younger, these girls do not let this inhibit them. In fact, they are known to go above and beyond the expectations. The role of a captain is to encourage the other runners, be there for support and as a friend, lead runs and stretches, communicate with the team (including running the Twitter account), and organize team bonding. Although this is already a long list of responsibilities, Clermont, Hartnett, and Moynihan take it to another level.

Clermont describes her role as a supporter and motivator. She hopes to help her teammates improve as runners, but also wants to help their confidence and mindset.

“I believe that in running, having a positive and confident mentality is key to success. So I hope that by giving the girls pep talks and quotes to live by they feel mentally ready to tackle their goals,” Clermont explains.

Although this seems like a lot of work, the girls have seen it pay off. The team was recently announced Kelley-Rex champions, with a 5-0 dual meet record. The positivity and encouragement of the captains helped the team prepare. The captains consider positivity and encouragement to be a priority, and that is reflected by their results.

“I am most proud of how the girls and I won the Kelley Rex Championship title by being 5-0 in our dual meet season. Our team is fairly young but extremely motivated to get better. The girls’ work ethic and positivity made this happen and I am extremely proud of us,” says Clermont.

The captains are making the team stronger, faster, and closer. They are energetic, lively, and positive, and are shaping the team into a well rounded and confident group.