Cara Thorne began running cross country competitively in the eighth grade, but the runner only needed two more years to make it to the top.
The Woburn Collegiate star is back at the provincial championships in Fireman’s Park, Niagara Falls, looking to maintain her top spot in the East Regional, and the Toronto District championships earlier this month.
She’s the school’s only entrant.
At last spring’s provincial track and field meet (OFSAA), the 15-year-old, Grade 10 athlete placed 11th in the 1,500 metres.
But at 3,000 metres, Thorne was right in the mix, finishing fourth in a personal best 10:32.33.
The Grade 10 student has been an athlete as far back as she can remember, getting involved in track and field at a young age because it was mandatory in her school. She was also involved in baseball, softball, and more recently, volleyball.
Highly praised by fitness teacher Susie Naccarato, Thorne is quite humble about her win and how she manages to balance school and athletics.
“She makes you wish everybody was like her,” Naccarato said. “She’s just so motivated and very driven to achieve her goals.
“She’s always asking questions and she always wants to improve and it’s kind of difficult to assist her in improving because she really is at the top of her game for her class.”
With the difficulties and pressures of school, Thorne insists that running is only hard if you allow it to be.
With competitiveness that has pushed her for the past few years, the young student has a lot to share about crossing the finish line.
“When you’re racing, if you think that … you won’t make the finish line, you won’t,” Thorne said.
“It’s all in your mind. You just have to believe you can and your legs will carry you to the finish line.”