Salute To Seniors is a medium for "senior farewells". With so many seniors heading off to bigger and better things we wanted to give everyone a chance to salute them one more time as well as invite those seniors to tell their stories from the past four years. I would like to thank those who sent in for their articles this summer.
Name: Lexi Harris
High School: Ramapo
College: Lehigh University
What was your most memorable race?
My most memorable race was winning state sectionals for cross country my senior year. I had always wanted to win a big race since I started the sport as a freshman, but to actually do it was an amazing feeling and really made me feel like all my hard work had paid off.
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
All the other girls in Bergen County were great competition throughout high school. There were so many talented athletes who pushed each other to run great times. I'm very excited that two of my biggest competitors from the county, Ginger Pojednic and Giavanna Tabbachino, will be my teammates in the fall!
What was your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment was either winning cross country sectionals or qualifying for SMOC in cross country. Both were big goals of mine for the season, and those moments made all the miles worth it.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
I wouldn't want to get as nervous before races because running is supposed to be fun and there is no reason to worry.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
I have had my fair share of injuries and health obstacles, which made training and racing frustrating and difficult at times.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss my teammates and coaches a lot. However, I will not miss Holmdel and the infamous Bowl!
What advice would you give to younger athletes?
Enjoy every practice, race, and moment with your team because it will be over so fast. Remember that running is fun, and don't get too worked up about races. Listen to your body and know when to stop running if something doesn't feel right.
What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
My coaches have always worked with me so that I can achieve my goals and have given me valuable advice that I can bring to college training. My track coach, Coach Manzo, is not only great at improving athletes' performances, but he also offers some insightful life lessons. My cross country coach, Coach Nangle, was great at keeping me from over-training and could always calm me down before races; he made me believe that I could accomplish my goals.
What are your college plans?
I will be running at Lehigh University in the fall! Go Mountain Hawks!
Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?
I would like to say thank you to my family, friends, and teammates for encouraging me throughout my high school running career. My parents supported me unconditionally, as did my siblings, and they spent many of their Saturdays watching me race. My grandpa went to almost ever single race I ran in, and I'm pretty sure that when I did well he was even more excited than me. Mostly, I would like to thank God for giving me the ability to run.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
It has been scientifically proven (by me) that wearing cool socks makes you run faster :)
Here is the race video from the Group 2 Championships in 2016 when Harris placed 10th overall with a time of 19:52.