XC captain powers through season

With a best time of 21:38, senior Laura Larocca has ending her season after regionals. Throughout her four years of participating in cross country, she said she has become a better person mentally and physically.

Amira Taylor

With a best time of 21:38, senior Laura Larocca has ending her season after regionals. Throughout her four years of participating in cross country, she said she has become a better person mentally and physically.

Changing your mind is a natural tendency no matter who you are or what you’re evaluating.

For example, senior Laura Larocca started her freshman year off on the volleyball team, but she realized that volleyball just wasn’t her thing.

“I didn’t fit in that type of setting, it just wasn’t for me,” Larocca said.

She still wanted to be active in some way so she made the decision to join cross country sophomore year.

She just finished this year as one of the team’s leaders.

“I kept going with cross country because I loved physically challenging myself, it’s a great way to stay in shape, and was something I had never done before,” Larocca said.

Choosing not to stay complacent with her appearance, Larocca was determined to improve her health.

“What made me start running in the first place was my discomfort in how I looked and my health in general,” Larocca said. “Running was the one thing that always helped calm me down.”

Having a positive relationship with your body is always important, and as time went on she set goals to become a healthier person and lost weight naturally.

With the team and coaches behind her, motivating her to continue this healthier lifestyle, she made the decision to stay on the team for the next two years.

“Running is something that I think I will always love, so I really hope I can continue to maintain my healthy habits after high school,” Larocca said.

Because Larocca has been injured in years past, another goal for her was to stay healthy and to do the best that she could with this being her last year on the team.

“I can’t run as fast as I did my sophomore year because, like all girls, I’ve put on weight in my hips and chest that make me run slower. My best time this year was 21:38 and I didn’t qualify for sectionals,” Larocca said. “Every year I’ve gotten injured and I just wanted to remain healthy all season so I could not necessarily get my best times, but do the best I could for my body now.”

Leadership is one of Larocca’s strength, Head Coach Mary Kate Pack said.

With her positive energy and her skills of balancing competitiveness with friendships, Pack knew that she would be a great team leader for her senior year.

“The girls look up to Laura for her guidance for each meet to know what to do. Laura also took the leadership role with leading yoga this year; she takes ownership with the team,” Pack said.

Larocca cherishes every moment in her expanded role.

“I loved being looked up to, not necessarily as a model for times, but as a veteran that knew what was going on most of the time,” Larocca said. “It gave me confidence that I can do this in a future workplace even.”