Senior Spotlight: Cross Country

Connie JacksonAthlete Spotlight, Athletics, News & Events, Spotlight, XC

2021 Cross Country Seniors

XC Seniors.

Andrew Le

Andrew Le is a captain of the St. Luke’s Cross Country team and has been a member of the team for the past 5 years. Andrew discovered his passion for running in middle school after he had a sudden realization that he enjoyed running the mile in PE class, therefore, he decided to join the cross country team and hasn’t stopped running since! Andrew says he loves being a part of the cross country team because his teammates are loving, supportive, and caring. He also enjoys the team dinners, which give him and his teammates a chance to get to know each other even better. Where there is unity, there is victory! Andrew says the best part about competing is the adrenaline rush he gets before running as well as meeting runners from other schools. Andrew makes practice fun by listening to music during warm-ups. He says his favorite song to listen to pre-meet is "Passenger" by Noah Kahan. Andrew says, as a captain, he tries to make every practice and meet fun for his teammates. He also always makes an effort to bond with all of his teammates as well as support and cheer them on. When asked about team traditions Andrew states, “​​My favorite tradition that we have on this team is the "writing on the legs. We have to pick a word that goes with "Wildcats" that describes yourself and the team.” Andrew uses “Wildcats Commit” to as inspiration to never give up. Andrew says that Coach Russell is his all-time favorite coach that he’s ever had. There were many times that he wanted to give up on a workout, but Coach Russell encouraged him to push hard and finish strong! He feels certain that if it weren’t for Coach Russle, he wouldn't be as strong and fast as he is now. Andrew appreciates that Coach always has a positive attitude no matter the situation and he inspires Andrew to work harder and encourages him to be more optimistic and for that….Andrew is forever thankful. As a personal goal for cross country, Andrew wants to make sure he always pushes himself to do his personal best and never puts a limit on his ability. He feels certain that cross country has even made him a better student. St. Luke’s has instilled such a love for the sport in Andrew that he wouldn’t mind pursuing his passion for running even after graduation. Never give up, Andrew! We are proud of the many footprints you have left at SLES and know you are running towards greatness!

Anna Marie Bentley

Senior, Anna Marie Bentley is a long-timer at St. Luke’s. She has attended St. Luke’s since preschool and has been on the cross country team since 8th grade and is a team captain this year. Anna Marie not only succeeds on the trails, but also in the classroom. She has been awarded the Scholar Athlete Award for the past three years. This Wildcat knows that great accomplishments require great sacrifice. Anna Marie says she likes being on the cross country team because it helps prepare for tennis and because she has made many lasting and wonderful memories that she will never forget. One of her favorite cross country team traditions is when the team writes inspirational phrases on the back of their calves at State. For example, some runners have written “Wildcats Finish,” “Wildcats Endure” and “Wildcats Succeed.” The body achieves what the mind believes! After cross country season, Anna Marie is looking forward to running into her final tennis season as a Wildcat (did we mention she’s a State Champ?) Although Anna Marie is not sure where she wants to attend college yet, we are confident that this is one Wildcat that will rise and roar no matter where she ends up. We’re proud you are ours, Anna Marie!

Mohammed Shahrouj

Senior, Mohammed Shahrouj, has attended St. Luke’s since 8th Grade and this is his second year on the cross country team. Although Mohammed has not been here as long as some of our other seniors, his huge impact at St. Luke’s is here to last! Mohammed likes being on the cross country team because he said it feels like a family. The cross country team is not a team because they run together everyday, they are a team because they truly care about one another. Having a team that has this level of unification gives the runners a sense of safety because everyone can be free to be themselves without worrying about others. The cross country team also does a lot of team-bonding outside of practice. This past summer, some members of the cross country team went to a running camp in Brevard, North Carolina. Mo states “it was one of the best experiences I have ever had and it was with the BEST team!” They met many other teams across the country and even ran up to 20 miles a day! Mo won’t stop running at the end of cross country season. He will run right into track season before graduating with the Class of 2022. He knows to never rest until your good is better and your better is best! Always run as one, work as a team, and finish as a family! Mohammed, we will be there to cheer for you during your senior season. Never stop running towards all of your goals!