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Student Spotlight: Rachel Rakower

Rachel+Rakower+competing+in+one+of+her+races+during+the+cross-country+season.
Rachel Rakower
Rachel Rakower competing in one of her races during the cross-country season.

“It felt amazing to be able to get to the next level,” Rachel Rakower ’26 commented. The track and cross country runner accomplished something the Scarsdale Girls Cross country team has struggled to do for the last 21 years, sending a runner to the New York State Cross-Country championships. On November 4, 2023, Rakower placed 63rd at the New York State Cross-Country Championships.

The last time a female runner from SHS raced at the New York State Cross-Country Championships was in 2002. Last year, Rakower missed the New York State Cross-Country championships cutoff by one slot. “It was really disappointing for me to get that close and still fall short,” Rakower said. Coming into the 2023 season, she was determined to make states by training harder and refusing to give up, which paid off this year. “It feels incredible to be able to finally push yourself to a point you didn’t see yourself being able to reach and realize that you can do way more than what you think you can [do],” she added.

Rakower started running in middle school during the COVID-19 shutdown because the activity allowed her to stay active and outside. After finding her passion for the sport, Rakower joined the SMS cross-country team. Starting her high school running career, Rakower was nervous. However, the team’s welcoming environment allowed her to settle in nicely. She then joined the winter and spring track.

“I continued running during winter track. It was an amazing experience to be able to compete at the Armory, an indoor track in NYC, for meets. I enjoyed trying out new distances and races as well! During the spring track of last year, I got to try out even more events,” Rakower shared.

During the spring track season, Rakower joined the 4×800 meter relay, which qualified for both the New York State Championships and the National Championship.

Rakower has noted that some of her success has come from the support of her teams. “No matter how hard a workout might be or how difficult a race might feel, they are always there for you,” Rakower explained. The support of her teammates has helped with the mental aspect of the running and competition stress. “I know that my teammates will always be by my side. We support each other, and I find that really helps with any nerves or fears before races,” she added.

“Cross Country and Track have taught me a lot about how much we can achieve when we work towards something… It’s also shown me that the hard work that you put in really does pay off and that no matter what you are going through, you will always have friends by your side to support you,” Rakower said.

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Zoe Winston, News Editor

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