St. John’s cross country team had a very successful season, with the girls’ varsity team finishing first in the WCAC and DCSAA championships and the boys’ team finishing second in both events. Meredith Gotzman ’23 took the season by storm and quickly became the top varsity girl. She came to St. John’s from St. Jane de Chantel grade school and has been running since fourth grade.
Gotzman finished first in the Landon, DCXC, Manhattan, and DC state races. She doesn’t run on a team outside of St. John’s, but she practices with the SJC team every day. Gotzman is also part of the Female Athletes Club, a group focused on helping young women develop positive mindsets and nutrition habits and providing a place to share their experiences. The club is run by Cary Hyde ’19, who is also Gotzman’s inspiration on the cross country team. “Cady Hyde is my inspiration, because even though she is injured, she still comes and supports the team. Everyone looks up to her! She is amazing!”
Practicing every day can make balancing athletics and schoolwork difficult. To ensure that she can get a full night of sleep and have time to work, Gotzman said, “I finish most of my homework on the way home from school, so when I get home I can eat and go to bed.”
For many athletes, practice offers a chance to escape from the busy day and bond with teammates, and Gotzman is no different. “When I run, I feel like all the worries in the world go away. I love the team atmosphere! Everyone is cheering for everyone, and it feels like a family.”
Gotzman had a great first season and is already looking forward to the indoor and outdoor track seasons and the rest of her high school career. When asked what the highlight of her season was, Gotzman said, “Running in DCXC was super fun! Crossing the finish line was a great feeling, but I couldn’t have reached it without the direction from my coaches. They are awesome when it comes to all things running. The best part of the whole thing was the support I got from the cross country team. They are amazing! Cheering for me the whole race. Even runners that are hurt and can’t run came to share their advice and support. It’s a real family, and I love it!!”