Senior Heroes Caroline Perry, Kirk Academy

Name: Caroline Perry

School: Kirk Academy

Q: What does your training look like right now given the current situation?

A:  Right now, I am really trying to focus on increasing my mileage and building my endurance back up after all the obstacles I have faced this year.

Q: What are you doing to stay busy other than run right now?

A: I have been playing a lot of board games with my family, watching movies, baking and cooking, and spending time enjoying outside!

Q: What was your most memorable race/moment?

A: My most memorable race and moment was during my sophomore year when my xc team won the State XC meet with a perfect score.  I remember my teammates and I-who finished 1,2,3,4,5-as we stood at the finish line in a huge group hug, knowing we had just accomplished something really amazing!

Q: What was the funniest thing that happened during your running career?

A: Last year at one of our track meets, it was super windy, and another team's tent blew onto the track during a race! Luckily no one was running by, which would not have been funny, but it was a crazy moment to witness!

Q: Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

A: I have had many competitors throughout the past four years, but no matter the race, my biggest competitor was always myself.

Q: What was your greatest accomplishment?

A: Winning the State XC meet my junior year was my greatest accomplishment because it had been my goal all season, and reaching that goal was an incredible feeling!

Q: If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?

A: I think I would have tried to enjoy each moment more.  I am extremely hard on myself, and I think it caused me to miss the fun in running and at meets sometimes.  Yes, it is good to be serious and to work to be the best you can, but it is also okay to laugh and just have fun with your teammates!

Q: What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

A:  Up until my senior year, I had never dealt with a serious injury.  However, I found out that I had a stress fracture the week that xc started this past season.  I was not able to run at all my last xc season of high school, and it was tough.  Plus, coming back from my injury has been a challenge, resulting in more roadblocks from smaller injuries.  Now, with track season on a hold, it has been sad realizing that I have not gotten to compete any my senior year and might not at all. But, I know there is more ahead, and I am trying to push forward and persevere.

Q: What will you miss the most?

A: I am going to miss practices and meets with my teammates, especially my best friend.  I am also going to miss running the mile relay at the end of a long track meet!

Q: What advice would you give to younger athletes?

A: Running is not an easy sport, and to reach goals, hard work is required-but, the hard work is so worth it when you see it pay off.  Also, try to not dwell on a bad race or even season, because it happens.  Keep focusing on what is ahead and never give up!

Q: What kind of an impact has your coach had on you and your team?

A:  My coach, Chuck Rose, started with nothing and built a xc program from the ground up, turning it into a successful team for boys and girls and leading us to many state champion titles.  He is the most encouraging and motivating coach I have ever known. He also talked me into running-even when I was not so sure about it-and helped me grow to love running and train to be the runner I am today.

Q: What are your college plans?

A: I have signed to run track and cross country and Mississippi College! I am so excited and cannot wait to train hard and work to grow as a runner! I also will be majoring in pre-physical therapy!

Q: Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?

A: So many people have been there for me throughout my running journey so far, and I am so thankful for them all.  First, thank you to my mom-she is my number one fan and biggest supporter.  Thank you to my sister for always listening to any of my running struggles. Thank you to all my family who have come to my races to cheer me on.  Thank you to my friends who have always rooted me on, and thank you to my best friend for being there for me through it all.  Thank you to my teammates in the past and present who have encouraged me and motivated me to be the best I can.  Thank you to my xc coach, Coach Chuck, who encouraged me to run and helped me to grow as a runner through these past years and to reach my goal of running in college.  Thank you to my future coach, Coach Reneker, for giving me the opportunity to continue doing what I love, and thank you to my future teammates who have already shown me so much kindness and support.  Thank you to the milesplit team for putting so much effort and investing so much time into keeping the running community connected! Lastly, thank you to my God who never fails me and has been by my side each step of the way!

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

A: Running has changed my life because it has showed me that I can be stronger than I ever thought possible.  It is such a blessing in my life, and after missing out on competing my entire senior year, I have learned to not take it for granted.  Cherish each tough workout and each race.  Remember to enjoy the gift of running itself and have fun!

Q: Favorite Meal?

A:  poppyseed chicken casserole or grilled chicken

Q: If you could be any animal what would you choose? and why?

A: I would probably be an elephant because I love elephants haha!

Q: Your favorite superhero?

A: I do not really know much about superheroes, so I guess I'll go with Captain America or Thor.