Over the next few weeks, NCRunners is dedicating its Senior Spotlight feature to some of the less-heralded really good runners in the state, athletes that run really fast times but don't seem to get as much recognition as others. In many cases, this is because they run for really good programs, and so they have teammates that are just as fast, or sometimes even faster. These runners may not be number one on their team every race, but they are nonetheless critically important to the success of their squad. And did I mention they're still quite fast?
Dakota Foskey is a perfect example of this type of runner. She shares the spotlight at West Johnston with her good friend Lauren Pollard, but without Dakota the Wildcats would not have been conference and regional champions. After struggling through some early-season frustrations, Dakota emerged as a dependable leader in her team's championship season, stepping up at a time when her teammates most needed her. In the little bit that I've been able to talk with her and observe her around teammates, it's obvious she is well-loved and plays a critical role on and off the course. Dakota finished her high-school cross country career with two big PR's: first 11:29 for 3200 at the Broughton tune-up, then 18:41 at Foot Locker South, a time that ranks her 25th in the state all-classes. For comparison, in 2008 she would have ranked 13th in the state, and in 2007 that time would have made the top 10! Look for Dakota to improve her solid 5:21 best for 1600 this winter or spring, as well. One side note: this interview was filmed all the way back at the beginning of September, at the Jungle Run; I believe if she were to speak right now, she would have some new options for "best moment as an athlete."