This is Lily.
She’s about 100 meters from the end of a grueling 2.6 mile run at the Quabacook Relays hosted each fall by Morse High School. The course features four hill climbs, two of which are among the most brutal hill climbs on any cross-country course in Maine. She didn’t win.
So why is she smiling?
She’s being welcomed home. It’s the final varsity heat of the day, the number one race, six varsity races are in the books. It is the pinnacle of the day’s competitive races. Several girls have already crossed the finish line in front of her.
So maybe she smiles because track and field is the most welcoming, and inclusisive, of sports.
Track & field and cross-country are the most competitive high school sports in Maine. The programs produce far more college athletes than any other sport. At the same time the programs are also the most welcoming to athletes across all skills levels.