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The Paw Print

The Paw Print

Athlete of the Issue: Audrey Tomlin

Carolyn Wu

The true definition of drive and sportsmanship, senior Audrey Tomlin has been a key
member of the cross country team since her freshman year. Though cross country may not seem like a team sport, Tomlin uses her warmth and dedication to motivate her peers and foster relationships within the team.

Many freshmen who are new to cross country see Tomlin as a supportive, hard worker. She understands how physically and mentally taxing cross country can be for beginners.

Freshman Harper Johnson said, “She never slacks off, and she’s always there for you.”

Freshman Eden Stern commented, “I look at her and see what kind of athlete I want to be when I become a senior – she is a great guide for me.”

Tomlin takes her role as a team captain seriously. She leads the warm-ups each practice, creating a friendly environment for the whole team.

Audrey’s commitment is also reflected in her run times. This school year, her running practice over the summer paid off when she competed in the Bell Jeff-Sacred Heart Invitational at Griffith Park on Sept. 30, 2023. She improved her 2.94-mile personal record by a jaw-dropping 2.5 minutes, placing 20th. Early in her sophomore year, only a year into her cross-country career, she placed 10th at the first Prep League meet of the season and brought her fast pace to the CIF-SS Division Prelims, where she placed 41st. She is only getting faster throughout her 12th grade season. On Sept. 2, she ran a 5k in 23.33.6 minutes; a week later, she was a top 15 medalist with a 5k time of 21.21.0 minutes at the Rosemead Invitational – averaging seven minutes per mile.

Junior Catie Sabbag, who has run with Tomlin for three years said, “There is a very
obvious difference in Audrey from the past years and this year; she has improved both mentally and physically.”

Her coach, Rick Caragher, compared her work ethic to “pounding the rock.” A stonebreaker can hit rock one time and it doesn’t break, 100 times and it doesn’t break, but on the 500th time, the rock breaks, not because the 500th blow was especially strong, but because the cumulative blows added up to break the rock.

Caragher stated, “Audrey is the best at pounding the rock; she just keeps going at it, and she has run so much better than she ever has in her life. Cross country hasn’t always come easy for Audrey … she has emerged confidence-wise and she knows her hard work will pay off.”

As Tomlin wraps up her final season on cross country, her work ethic and leadership will undoubtedly help the team close the season with a bang. She will be sorely missed when she runs off to college next year.

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