Salute To Seniors: Sarah LaTour of Cuthbertson

Name: Sarah LaTour 

School: Cuthbertson High School 

What was your most memorable race/moment?

Raleigh Relays 2018 was the most exhilarating race I'd ever competed at. Breaking five in the mile was one of my biggest goals this season. Not only did I go under five minutes, I won the race and earned my bid for the Boston Dream Mile. To accomplish this feat in a stacked field, on my future track at NC State, and in front of my future teammates and coaches made that race the best day of my life. 

Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

I have had many tough competitors that I have developed a deep respect for. To name a few: Elise Wright, Sarah Bechtel, Anna Bristle, Jaeden Phelix, Katie Verrill, Joanna Strange, and Katherine Dokholyan. They made racing exciting and I cherish the close bonds I've made with each of them throughout our careers. I cannot wait to see what they will accomplish in their futures. 

What was your greatest accomplishment?

Winning back-to-back indoor state titles with my team was the most incredible experience. When we won, it was a frenzy of emotions because no one expected anything from Cuthbertson.  It was shocking, exciting, and compelling. In virtual meets, our team had not been ranked high at all  but that didn't stop us. We realized our potential to be a competitive team and we worked very hard together as one. It brought us closer; not only did we race for ourselves but for each other as well. It is one thing to win an individual title but to celebrate as a team is even more rewarding.  

If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?

I would figure out how to sleep better. It's hard for me to sleep and I'm still working to improve it. 

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

This past cross country season when I got 7th at States. I wanted to win and I focused all summer and season on achieving it. Unfortunately, I gassed out in the last 400m of the race. I've had plenty of bad races before but this one really hit me hard. It took me a few weeks to eventually move on and focus on track. I had lost some self belief but my coaches still supported and believed in me. 

What will you miss the most?

I will miss my team the most. Blasting music on the bus ride to meets, the team dinners, our pre meet speeches in the hotel, cheering as loud as we could during the 4x4, and coming to practice everyday and working hard together. I will miss every moment with them and I wish them the best of luck in the future. 

What advice you would give to younger athletes?

Set goals, work until you achieve them, and then raise the bar. There will be distractions that try to throw you off course but stay focused. You will have some good races and bad races but always push forward. People may think you're crazy but don't listen to them. Find a positive in every race, no matter how good or bad it was. Don't put too much pressure on yourself either, it's just a race. Have fun because it goes by quicker than you think. 

What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?

I've been fortunate enough to have some great coaches throughout my career. Coach Walsh, Coach Stamper, and Coach Allen coached me into the runner I am today but they also coached me in the classroom and in life. They taught me to trust the process, no matter how many bumps there are on the road. They always believed in me even when I didn't believe in myself. They made running enjoyable and I was excited to come into practice everyday. These coaches have helped me in so many ways and I couldn't be where I am today without them. 

What are your college plans?

I will run cross country and track at NC State University and major in sports management. 

Who would you like to say thank you to?

Thank you to all my coaches who have made an impact on my running career. Coach Walsh, Coach Stamper, Coach Allen, Coach Sluiter, Coach Thompson, Coach Lightfoot, and the coaching staff at Charlotte Flights Track Club, I couldn't thank you enough for your guidance and always believing in me. 

Thank you to my team for cheering me on and working hard everyday along side me. I will never forget all the memories and amazing friendships I have created with you. 

Thank you Coach Geiger, Coach Henes, and Coach Seaton for the opportunity you have given me to compete for NC State and help grow the program. 

Thank you to my teachers, Mr. Lyons, Mrs. Dillner, Mrs. Whitt, Mr. Malady, Ms. Weycker, Mr. Marchand, Mrs. Shultz, and Coach Allen for the impact you made on as a student at Cuthbertson. 

Thank you Mom, Dad, Jillian, Memaw, and Aunt CC for being the most loving and supportive family I could've ever asked for. I couldn't ever be the runner, student, and person I am without you. 

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Thank you running for changing my life forever. You've keep me healthy, taught me about hard work, commitment, and discipline, I've created some of the most amazing memories, and met the most amazing people through you. Even though it was painful and I've hated you at times, I couldn't imagine my life without you. Let's keep this thing going. Go Cavs and Go Wolfpack!