Poirot places sixth at regionals, advances to states for second consecutive year

At+a+meet+at+Panorama+Farms%2C+sophomore+Annie+Poirot+runs+the+final+stretch+of+her+race.

Jennifer Atkinson

At a meet at Panorama Farms, sophomore Annie Poirot runs the final stretch of her race.

Clare Kirwan, Page Editor

Finishing in a time of 19:53, sophomore Annie Poirot placed sixth at the girls varsity regional cross country race on Nov. 4. The girls team placed third in the 5A class region to advance to the state meet, with Poirot finishing first for the team.

Poirot qualified for the state meet in the 2020-2021 season as an individual. Qualifying for the second year in a row whether that was through the team or individual spots was one of her main goals.

I don’t know if [qualifying for states] was the ultimate goal, [but] I think it definitely was one big goal. I think the ultimate goal was  [with] COVID [to] have a great season with my teammates and get a [personal record],” Poirot said.

Going into this season Poirot’s personal record (PR) was 21:12, and as the season went on Poirot ran a new PR of 19:36.

“I’ve been training with my team and I think running in the summer and training [for months] really paid off. Working hard and running a lot [helped me achieve my goals],” Poirot said.

In Poirot’s experience on the team thus far, the environment is unlike any she has experienced before.

“ We all just know each other really well. A lot of my best friends [are] on this team and [we] have great captains.  Everybody’s so supportive and encouraging,” Poirot said.

With the looming pressure of regionals and the possibility of qualifying for states, Poirot feels that her team has been extra supportive.

“ [It has helped to have] such a supportive and encouraging team, knowing that we’re all [going to] get out there and do our best, and whatever happens, happens,” Poirot said.

Poirot originally found out the team had qualified for states a few minutes after finishing her race when her teammate, Sophomore Lena Blagg told her.

“I was thinking that I would at least go to states as an individual because I knew what I placed,” Poirot said.  “[When I found out our team was going to states] I was overjoyed and it was a really awesome feeling. I’ll always remember that feeling for the rest of my life.” 

The mental toll and pressure is not the only challenge Poirot faces when running; the physical strain on her body when racing is also an obstacle.

“When I start[ed] to feel like [my race was] going downhill at regionals, I  tried to tell myself that [I’m] feeling good and this is supposed to be fun. I just try to stay focused and tell myself that all I have to do is do my best,” Poirot said.

As the cross country season comes to a close, Poirot has been reflecting on her performance throughout the season.

“[I had a breakthrough this season]. It went really well this season and I’ve been able to reach new PRs  [that] I didn’t think I’d be able to reach. It just felt good [to end] a really good season and I’m really happy with how it went,” Poirot said.

Poirot dedicated her regional race to her brother, alumni Gabe Poirot, who recently suffered a skateboarding accident that left him with a skull fracture and brain bleed.

“A couple of weeks ago, my brother had an accident and is in the hospital right now. It’s been really hard, and that was kind of a stumbling block these past couple weeks. I think just being able to push through that and run has really helped me through [this tough time] and being able to dedicate my life to my brother and run for him has really helped,” Poirot said.

Poirot competed with her team in the state meet on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021.

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