Senior Spotlight: Captain Dorothy Harbaugh

Friday, September 4 2020 - Levynn Chambers


Senior Dorothy Harbaugh, 7 years after beginning her cross country career, is leading the Jones girls’ cross country team through a pandemic in the second year of her captainship. Winning 2nd place at city in her freshman year, she has been a leader on the team from the beginning. Always friendly and open to questions, she is a perfect captain for such uncertain times. 

 

  1. How long have you been running?

I’ve been running since 5th or 6th grade, doing cross country and track at my elementary school. It was not super serious there so coming to Jones and running here was definitely a big step compared to what I had been doing before.

 

  1. How did you first start running?

My dad is a big basketball player, and he really wanted me to get into it like he was. I tried it for maybe a year and was absolutely awful at it, so I decided to give the other sport he did a try (running). Running was a little more tolerable than basketball, so I just stuck with it!

 

  1. What are your favorite and least favorite things about running?

My favorite thing about running, and I feel like I talk about this all the time, is the people you’re surrounded by and get to run with. I just love talking to the other girls on runs and hanging out after practice. I think Jones cross country/track has an exceptionally wonderful team and I’m so lucky to get to know everyone on it. My least favorite thing about running is the anxiety I can get before hard workouts or races, but everything else makes it worth it.

 

  1. What gets you through a long or difficult run (or race)?

To get through hard running days/races I always need to have something to look forward to. It can be anything from hanging out with people after practice or knowing I’m having my favorite food for dinner!

 

  1. What is your favorite XC tradition?

My favorite XC tradition is definitely the pasta party! We’ve only had it at Alice’s gorgeous house since I’ve been on the team, but obviously this year we’ll have to find a new place. It’s such a great time to hang out with all the girls on the team and of course the food is fantastic. Also, shout out to FA days; I don’t know that they count as a tradition, but they’re also so exciting.

[Writer’s note: The pasta party is normally the night before the city meet, previously hosted by Alice ‘20. FA days are a surprise, once a season free day to run around the city and do something fun!]

 

  1. Do you have a favorite/least favorite workout or type of run?

Hmmm. It’s hard for me to say I have a favorite workout, but I guess I don’t really mind the 4 minute runs, and hill workouts can be kinda fun. My least favorites are thresholds (they’re just SO HARD) and the Michigan (last year I cried when it was announced for the day).

[Writer’s note: The Michigan workout is a speed interval workout universally feared by the running community. Our team runs 1600/1600/1200/1200/800/800, (each distance once on the track and once on the grass), running race pace on the track and tempo pace on the grass, with jogging rest between the two locations, and ending with an all-out 400 on the track.]

 

  1. Do you have any advice for new runners?

I think one of the best things you can do for yourself when you join as a new runner is to reach out to the people around you on the team. I was super scared joining my freshman year, and probably did not work that hard to connect with people, but somehow I found four of my closest friends to this day. Also, don’t be afraid to speak up on runs if people are going too fast. I still struggle with this, but it’s so important to do what feels right for your body, even when it feels uncomfortable to ask to slow down.

 

  1. Anything else you want to say for the story?

I’m super excited for the season even though it is still so up in the air. I know no matter what we’ll find a way to have fun and do some good running :)

 

[Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.]