McCoy Takes City - Strong Finish at State
by Alicja Ramotowski
Northside is not known for having a stellar athletics department--but every so often, someone comes around who challenges this stigma. One such person is Sara McCoy, Adv 807. McCoy is a talented athlete and is surpassing all expectations this season, including her own.
McCoy was out with an injury last year and was glad to be back this spring. She had a consistent indoor season this year and finished 7th at Top Times-- an unofficial Illinois meet--which laid the groundwork for the rest of the season. So far, she has set a number of school records, including an indoor mile record (5:18.45) and outdoor mile record (5:13.54).
On May 5, 2018, at Hanson stadium, a number of Chicago schools gathered for the city championship meet. McCoy admitted that the competition was fierce, especially the runners from Whitney Young and Walter Payton, whom she considered her biggest competition. McCoy was slated to run both the mile and two mile. She was confident in the mile since it is her favorite event, but she was nervous about the two-mile because of some past struggles with the event. McCoy said, “I was definitely really anxious for the two-mile because I know I have not reached my full potential in the event and have struggled to really find my stride in that race. The mile is a different story. I fell in love with the mile when I first ran it freshman year. I’m super passionate about it.” McCoy did her best to prepare for the competition; she drank a lot of water the day before and went to bed before 9:30, but said she still got her “pre-race jitters,” as she does before every race.
The day of the race was hot, and McCoy finished third in the two-mile. Although she was not thrilled about that result, she did her best to put it behind her and get ready for the mile race.
Once the race began, McCoy led the pack until she was passed in the final lap. A gifted, but also intelligent athlete, she kept her calm, knowing she could trust her finishing sprint and, with 100 meters to the finish line, she switched to lane two and gave it all she had. Reflecting on the final push, McCoy said, “I sprinted so hard that my whole body felt numb and my vision went blurry as I made my pass to take home the win. I remember throwing up my hands and smiling as I crossed the finish line. It was the best feeling in the world.” Thanks to this unexpected burst of energy, McCoy finished first in the city.
After an incredible season of accomplishments, which includes both a city and sectional championship, McCoy prepared for state. The state competition is a big deal, and the pressure was definitely there. McCoy said that she knew that she had the full support of her coach, team, and family, and wanted to make them proud. Before the race she said, “I’ll be carrying my teammate’s spirit with me during this race.”
Although things did not pan out exactly as she had hoped, McCoy did well in placed 9th in the state. Considering the fierce competition, as well as scale of the competition, such an ending is a major accomplishment.
McCoy is grateful for all that she has learned in her four years of running track and cross country at Northside. She has learned not only about the sport, but also about being part of a team, making sacrifices, leading a healthy lifestyle, as well as a lot about who she is as a person. Looking to the future, McCoy plans to try out for the varsity team at Northwestern University, which she will be attending in the fall, but she knows that that will not be an easy task. She is thankful for everything that she has learned and accomplished, and said, “having the ability to run is a gift.”