Holy Trinity's Caroline Brown had a feeling it was going to be a good week. It started Monday morning as she sat in homeroom, preparing herself for another five-day stretch of her senior year. Suddenly, a morning announcement jolted her out of a fog.
Brown had been selected as Holy Trinity's 2013 valedictorian.
"It's such an honor," Brown said. "I love my school so much. It's just a fantastic community. I put in so much work and so much effort for that school. But, it's easy to work hard because I love it."
The announcement gave the runner the spark she needed. After a long and successful winter season, she had taken ten days off to rest and recover before jumping into her final campaign.
"The beginning of spring was a little bit rocky for me," Brown said. "I had two meets and didn't feel that great. I was feeling kind of tired."
But Brown found her winning ways again, claiming the 1,500 in 4 minutes, 52.95 seconds at the Cougar Invitational, yesterday at Bellmore JFK High School.
"I felt great this week," she said. "I had great workouts and am feeling better now. That break was what I needed, but I think I kind of rushed back. I just needed time."
Like she usually does, Brown had a specific strategy entering the race.
"My coach wanted me to sit during the first 300 [meters] and gauge the wind to see if I needed to tuck behind anyone to block the wind," she said. "But, the wind wasn't that bad and I felt good, so I figured I'd just take it."
And take it she did, running well in front of the pack for the majority of the race.
"Sometimes, it's difficult to push yourself," she said. "But other days, you just get a good momentum going and can feed off that. I just wanted to make sure no one caught me. I said 'no one is going to catch me today.' That propelled me forward."
It also propelled her teammates. Brown was only part of a banner day for Holy Trinity.
The Titans 4 x 100-meter relay team, of Rachel Luebke, Victoria St. John, Kiara Powell, and Aisling Fitzgerald, won in 53.2 seconds. The path toward victory began with Luebke's start.
"I've had some pretty bad starts," she said. "But this one was really good. I felt really prepared for today."
Holy Trinity took the lead after Powell's third leg and, thanks to Fitzgerald's consistent anchor leg, it was never relinquished.
"Kiara did a great job getting us into first place," Fitzgerald said. "Her handoffs are amazing, she doesn't get enough credit for that. I just tried to hold on to the lead as we finished the race and make the girls proud."
Sophomore Kristina Insingo and senior Alexis Harrs represented the Titans in the field. Harrs won the high jump, clearing 5 feet. Insingo won the shot put with a toss of 35 feet, 71/4 inches, and the discus with a throw of 102 feet, 2 inches.