Dames takes leadership role for cross country


Julia Dames, senior, runs at the Hornet/Red Devil Invite on Sept. 7. The following weekend at the First to the Finish Invite in Peoria, Dames finished 10th and led her team to 6th place.

Zach Grayson, Sports Media class

Senior Julia Dames made a decision that made her cross country teammate feel better last Saturday at the First to the Finish Invite in Peoria

“I decided a girl couldn’t race because of an illness. It was in her best health not to run that day. The first person to go and pick her up was Julia Dames,” head coach Kevin Gummerson said.

There are many instances of Dames showing great leadership and work ethic. But that latest occurrence at Peoria stood out the most. Her role in helping underclassmen develop as better runners has shown in some of their recent invites. She is the runner that they can look up to for guidance.

“She pushes me to do my best by focusing on moving as a team,” sophomore Sara McLaughlin said. “She always motivates us to stick together even when the last thing we want to do is stay up with her. And when our best doesn’t seem like enough, she reminds us that next practice/meet we can just come back stronger.”

Dames helps all levels of runners strive to be the best runner they can be.

She is a top 50 runner in the state. Last year she placed 48 out of more than 200 runners at the state finals.

“She is a super talented runner and is going to do great things with this sport in the future. When she pushes herself to the max she is amazing” senior Olivia Kics said.

Hard work is one thing Dames is strict on doing. She makes sure to put in the extra work to run at the level she does.

“To prepare for the season after practice I would run extra. I would also swim miles in my pool to help my breathing and overall fitness as a runner,” Dames said.

Dames and the rest of the team will compete on their home course in the Minooka Flight Invitational at Channahon Community Park on Saturday, Sept. 21.