As senior Sally Donovan steps to the line to start a race or gets ready to begin a soccer game, she is calm and relaxed. Donovan is a natural athlete, who was born to compete, and always wants to give it her all for that win. Donovan has been an athlete for many years and it doesn’t seem she is stopping anytime soon.
Donovan come from a family of competitive athletes. “I’ve been competing in sports since the second grade,” said Donovan.
Donovan has been running cross-country for South High since her junior year, and is one of South’s most successful female athletes. She currently holds the record for the fastest four-kilometer cross-country race among girls at South with a time of 14 minutes and 59 seconds.
“She has natural talent and has developed great competitiveness,” said her cross country and track and field coach Mark Gross.
“At the beginning of a game or race, I am always trying to keep my composure and [I] also like to think about finishing strong,” said Donovan.
Without attending a single cross country practice, she made it all the way to the state championship. This year, Donovan made it to the state championship again with shin splints and without summer training. “She has a developed into a good racer,” said Gross.
In Minnesota, during high school cross-country races, females run a distance of 4 kilometers or about 2.48 miles. Males race a total distance of 5 kilometers or about 3.1 miles. Minnesota is the only state that doesn’t allow women to run the same ditance as men, something Donovan finds frustrating. “If guys run 5k, I don’t see why girls can’t do this, and this is only in Minnesota, too,” said Donovan.
“I don’t know if I want to go D-1 [Division 1] when I think of it, it sounds like a great idea but I don’t really think I’m going to be balanced,” Donovan stated.
Donovan’s primary goal in college is to become educated, saying, “I definitely want to go to college to get an education.” Though she is still indecisive, this decision is a big one.
“That’s definitely hard,” said Donovan referring to the transition between sports she participates in. Donovan is a captain of the Nordic ski team, the cross country team and the track and field team.
“Though she is not our best skier, she keeps are our varsity team in check. She also knows a lot about skiing and wants us to go to state as a team,” said senior and Nordic skier Rachel Kranz.
“She is as good as she is at running because she is all about giving it your all and staying positive,” said junior Clara Schultz, one of Donovan’s fellow cross-country and track team members. As a captain, Donovan looks out for her fellow team mates and always motivates them to reach higher and give it their all every time.
“She is genuinely caring and I freak out if she is not there when I start a race. I perform better when she is there. She is encouraging and inspiring,” said Schultz.