Dear Class of 2020 by State Champion Sydney Ragland

Not to sound conceited or obnoxious, but this was supposed to be my season. It was supposed to be the season our 4x800 relay team could win state -- it was supposed to be the season I was the captain of the best girls team in Louisville Collegiate School's history -- it was supposed to be the season that I would tell everyone about it for years to come -- to look back on as one of the best few months of my life with the best people.

Watching the days go by knowing that I may not compete at the high school level again is agonizing. What's more painful is realizing that my last high school track meet could have been almost a year ago at state in June and at the time I had no idea. It hurts a lot, but so far I'm healthy, my teammates are healthy, and my family is healthy. I can still train, even if it isn't with my team, and I can still talk to them, even if it isn't in person. I'm beyond disappointed that I probably won't get a chance to compete this season, but knowing that there are far worse problems in the world and knowing that no other high school senior gets to compete makes it a little more bearable. We are all missing the season that was supposed to be ours and we're all missing these last few months with our closest friends, together. 

I guess my only piece of advice during this time is to not think about what could have been, but instead, think about what was. Thinking about how good my team is this year and about how much talent there is that won't be seen in a competition is hard, but remembering last year's season where we set a school record in the 4x800 and my teammate got 3rd in the state in the 3200, makes it that much more bearable. Although I might not have a senior track season, I am grateful for my amazing senior cross country season. I ran faster than I ever had and my team took the state title. That day was one of the best days ever and getting to spend it with my closest friends made it what it was. I know for a fact that I was a part of one of the most caring, funny, and accepting teams in high school and I like to think I left the program better than when I started.  

To my team and coaches, I want to say thank you. Thank you for being the best group of people I've ever met and thank you for making my time as an Amazon so amazing. I consider myself lucky for crying while writing this because that shows I had something to lose and I think that speaks to the character of every single member of my team. I don't usually think that things happen for a reason, but if this season would have happened, I'm not sure I would have taken the time to reflect on how much my team and this sport means to me. I urge all high school seniors to think about their teams and let them know how much they mean to them. It went by too fast. 

**Sydney Ragland is a senior at Louisville Collegiate. Her team won the Class A State Cross Country Championships in the fall. Sydney has committed to Chapman University.**