Grace Watkins: Tribute to Tenacity

10/29/2016

p1110503

Grace is pictured above with teammate and fellow senior Sophie Reynolds.          

When senior Grace Watkins hangs up her cleats after Friday night’s MBC championship, she will become the first female cross country runner in DC history to letter all four years in the sport.*
And while our culture most often celebrates great victories or
outstanding statistics in athletics, Watkins story boasts no trophies or
first place finishes. Her story is one of determination and what you
might call down to earth “stick-with-it-ness.” In short, she is the perfect picture of a Warrior.
She has stuck with a sport that prizes endurance by persevering through
four seasons of weekly 5K races in weather varying between ninety-five
degree heat, pouring rain, and cold weather.

I have a lot of respect for her,” said Coach Larry
Myers. “And the younger girls recognize where she has been and her
experience, and have showed her their respect by voting her their
captain.”

Watkins started running to fulfill a physical education credit on the
recommendation of her sister, but she soon grew to love the community
of runners that make up the cross country team.

Grace, what do you enjoy about being the cross country team?

I enjoy the family aspect of the team. Although I am biased, I believe
the cross country team is the closest of all the athletic teams. We see
each other at our best and at our worst. It takes a special type of
person and group to be able to still love and care for each other even
after running a 5K. We have a very close bond that I don’t know that
other people could understand without being on the team.

What has motivated you to stick with the cross country team?

The encouragement of my parents, my team, and my coach has really
motivated me to stick with it throughout high school. Without their
support and kinds words, I quite possibly would have given up a long
time ago.

What role has Coach Myers played in your career?

I am extremely grateful for my coach, Larry Myers. Ever since my first
practice my freshman year, he has encouraged me so much. Even though I
have never been one of the fastest runners on the team, he still has made time to personally talk to
me about my running. He has invested in me and my team spiritually by
sharing devotions at the beginning of each practice.

Congratulations, Grace, on your four years of DCS cross country!