Last weekend, my cross country team and I raced at the Clovis Invitational meet, which was held in Fresno at the CIF state course. It was an amazing experience to compete against other elite/national class schools and meet top athletes. For me, the highlight of the trip was seeing Sarah Baxter, possibly the fastest and greatest female cross-country runner in history, lay a remarkably fast, record-beating time.


If you’re a cross-country athlete, you most likely know who I’m talking about… Sarah Baxter is always that ONE person who can screw up your chance at first place. According to LA times, “Sarah Baxter does not know how to lose.” Ranked as the fastest female cross-country runner in the nation, Baxter has not lost a single race in the three years of her Simi Valley High career. That… is amazing. When I witnessed her run for the first time at Woodbridge, I was in awe. I could not wrap my head around the fact that she was is unbeaten. No one has ever beaten her in race. She has countless medals, trophies, and awards. Newspapers write about her, and people run after to get pictures and autographs signed by her. She has fans already, for crying out loud!!! Isn’t that something… Imagine her in about 10 years running at the Olympics. I’m willing to bet money on this one.

Sarah Baxter is a three-time champion and two-time high school national champion. She currently holds numerous record times and was recently named Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. Many consider her Mount SAC Invitational performance as one of the greatest ever by a high school cross country runner. As a freshman in high school, Baxter’s coach, Evans, was impressed by her drive and motivation. “She has an internal motor that you can’t teach. If I could (teach it), I’d have 60 kids like that,” Evans said. According to Evans, Baxter is never intimidated and not afraid to step up her game. He recalls telling her that coming in third or fourth place wouldn’t be an embarrassment for her first race. Baxter responded by saying that she did not plan to lose, ever… and it kind of stuck.

I applaud Sarah Baxter for her greatness and courage. Because she has never lost a race, Baxter is not allowed to do so. She is forced to take upon a focused and determined mentality and has to learn to push/pace herself during races. Baxter is willing to challenge herself to step up and take initiative and in doing so, has enabled to succeed in the sport. She has learned to have confidence in her abilities and trust that every movement and step she takes will lead to her ultimate success. Baxter must overcome the many physical, as well as mental/emotional obstacles in her way and make certain that she does not allow any negative/condescending thoughts and comments affect her.

Be the best you can be… in whatever field that may be. Whether you’re good at sports, school, or musical instrument, embrace your greatness and show the world how amazing you are. Everyone is good at something, I can tell you that. Getting a head start by exploring your options and preparing for the future can make a big difference in your success.  Rather than being average and getting along in life as a mediocre person, why not show the world what you are capable of? Why not be a “Sarah Baxter?”

-Michelle Doan


One thought on “Greatness.

  1. I believe that promoting yourself and showing off what you can do makes you better. Of course, this doesn’t mean tooting your horn, but say, if you’re Sarah Baxter, and you got all those medals and awards, and you told NO ONE about it? It’s like a big waste of your hard work! I really agree with what you’re saying about “being average and a mediocre person” because we’re all better than that. Great post Michelle!

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