Once a runner, always a runner

A rush of adrenaline helps sophomore Sophie Lamphier, left, strongly finish the last 200 meters of the race. (Photo courtesy of the Mercy Cross Country team)

Sophomore Sophie Lamphier has been a runner for as long as she can remember. At school, she would race the boys at recess. Of course, she always beat them.

With her toned legs, tan skin, sandy blonde hair, and signature outfit (any type of athletic wear), she looks like she just walked out of a Nike magazine.

Lamphier has always been a tomboy, and sports have always been a part of her life. Her parents were both athletes as well, and remain active today. Encouraged by her parents, Lamphier has been playing soccer for 10 years. She not only excels in soccer, but in swimming and snowboarding, too. She has been on her neighborhood’s swim team since she was a toddler and she snowboards all through the winter.

Lamphier used to just run for a quick workout to stay in shape, until she discovered cross country. Before coming to Mercy, Lamphier ran cross country for Ferndale Middle School. She was the fastest girl on the team, winning first place multiple times.

When Lamphier started attending Mercy, she knew running cross country was going to be part of her life. The first day of practice her freshman year was a crisp, clear, sunny morning at Cass Benton Metropark, a beautiful park with trails through the woods and in open, grassy fields. Lamphier let her legs carry her far ahead of everyone else, being one of the first people to finish the practice. From that moment, she knew her goal would be to run the very best that she possibly could.

Lamphier became one of the fastest runners on Mercy’s team, winning her varsity letter freshman year. She shows up to every practice and meet ready to perform and to run her best.

“I live for the adrenaline rush in that last 200 meters,” said Lamphier. “Nothing else makes me feel like that.”

Lamphier also said she always drinks enough water and eats the right foods before a meet, as well as receiving plenty of sleep. When Lamphier does well in a race, she feels alive.

“I always get that runner’s high,” said Lamphier. “Running makes me feel like [I’m] flying.”

If Lamphier feels she did not run her best, her entire day is ruined. That is how important cross country is to her. Lamphier has had five personal records and she finished off the season with one of her best times this year. She is the second fastest runner on Mercy’s team, right behind junior Lauren Lytle.

The cross country team has several team bonding events throughout the season, where a team member hosts the team at her house for dinner and games. At the end of the season, there was even a team sleepover.

“One of my favorite things about cross country is the people,” said Lamphier. “We’ve become like a family.”