SSN Athlete Feature: Claire Hamilton

Gabriella Haynes

Sophomore Claire Hamilton started running cross country on the HSE team this school year. Along with cross country, she is apart of HSE Swimming and Diving teamShe has a lot on her plate but loves doing both activities. Hamilton has always enjoyed running and wanted to stay in shape for diving as well. This motivated her to join the team along with her friends. 

Hamilton is not the only person in her family with a passion for running. Her grandfather ran cross country in high school and qualified for state. Hamilton’s mom also used to run track and both of her older siblings run marathons. The athletic gene running through her family is not the only thing that has motivated her. Hamilton’s older sister has continuously pushed her to run faster and longer distances. 

“She encouraged me to join cross country,” Hamilton said. “It was something she regretted not doing in high school.” 

This year, Hamilton ran alongside the JV team. She has not won any races, but it is not as important to her as seeing her personal improvement and growth. The coaches have pushed her to try harder and give her best. They make sure she is comfortable both mentally and physically with the distance and speed she is running at 

Hamilton did not only enjoy running at practices. She formed many close friendships and made the best of each meet. Sophomore Amelie Laytart has overall helped her and reminded her of how far she has come. Before the season, they ran with other girls on the team in order to get conditioned. 

“I noticed Claire would make new goals for herself every week, as she continued to achieve them in short periods of time,” said Laytart. “Claire continued to work hard, and she made practice something to look forward to, whether it was making sure to run through every sprinkler we passed or giving pep talks before a race.” 

In summary, Hamilton is very satisfied with the way the season turned out. Hamilton was nervous at the beginning of the season at the thought she would be slower than everyone else. In the beginning of the year, she couldn’t run a mile without stopping. Now, Hamilton has gotten a new PR and gained confidence in herself. She has gone from a 9:00 minute pace to a 7:30 pace in this short period of time. In addition, all the girls on the team were incredibly supportive of her and helped her come a long way.  

“If you think something is fun you should always try it! It’s never too late to start,” said Hamilton. “I couldn’t run a mile last year and puked after my first cross country practice, but it grew to become something I really loved.”