Name: Nora Harris
School year: Senior
Sport: Track and Field
Events: 1 mile, 2 mile, 4×800 relay, 300 hurdles
Do you play other sports? Cross Country
Do you prefer playing individual or team sports? I like to be a part of teams where I can also work on my individual skills. I love the community aspect that comes with a close-knit team, but there’s nothing better than breaking a personal record of my own.
Why do you like running? I actually don’t like running. I think most people don’t like to run. It’s very difficult – it requires perseverance, tenacity, ignoring pain, ignoring the incessant thoughts that scream “STOP.” But I love all that running gives me. I like to be fit, to know that I’m taking care of my body, I like to be able to eat as much as I want to without feeling guilty because I know I’ll burn it off at practice. I like the euphoria that washes over me after I’ve worked hard in a practice or a meet, and I love my fellow teammates.
I love the running community; it’s so supportive. Runners understand that sometimes it’s okay to pee your pants at the end of a race.
What’s your pre-meet ritual? One of my little school spirit rituals I do every meet is to tie blue and gold ribbons, given to me by a senior at my first race, into my ponytail.
What’s your favorite warm-up song? “Break My Stride” by Matthew Wilder. The girls cross country team sings it together before every race.
What’s been your greatest sports moment so far? My greatest moment of triumph was seeing 17:55 as I crossed the finish line at the Packerland Conference Cross Country Meet this past fall. I never thought I would see 17 minutes, but I did that day. I improved my personal record by 37 seconds and was All Conference Honorable Mention as a result.
What’s been the worst? My worst sports moment was actually my first sports moment. I joined the cross country team on a whim my freshman year. The first day of practice I pooped myself in front of many upper classmen; this was my initiating experience into high school and high school sports. I was mortified, but I knew that as far as embarrassments went, it couldn’t get any worse the next day or the day after that. And no, in the four seasons of cross country and four seasons of track since then, it hasn’t happened again.
Who inspires you? My coach, Joy Manweiler, is my biggest inspiration. I’ve never seen her in a bad mood; every day she comes to practice with tons of energy and a smile on her face. She often does the workouts with the team, which can be really fun and competitive. She always motivates me to be the best runner I can be, and she’s so knowledgeable about everything from correct running form to hip strengthening workouts to how to do a chinnie properly. Her advice over the years has been invaluable.