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Campus Celebrity: Kira Garry, HYP 1st Place Runner

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Yale chapter.

Campus Celeb: Kira Garry, HYP 1st Place Runner

College: Berkeley 2015

Major: Environmental Studies

Hometown: Montauk, NY

Kira Garry (Berkeley, 2016) came this year’s HYP cross-country meet. Read more to hear about Kira’s achievements, her running career, the Yale XC team and more!

HC: How did it feel to come in first at HYP by 6 full seconds?

KG: It was really cool to have it be at home for my senior year, because it switches every year from Harvard to Yale to Princeton. It was also Princeton’s first year since my freshman year; there was a departure from the tradition of HYP 2 years ago when the Princeton women’s team stopped running at HYP (the men had already stopped running it 8 years before that), so it was a nice culmination to return to the tradition of HYP for my senior year. I also received a letter from the winner of HYP in 1960 in congratulations, so that was obviously very exciting. He wrote: “from one HYP winner to another.”

HC: Tell us about your trajectory from freshman year to now.

KG: As a freshman, I definitely relied on the upperclassmen to follow and teach me. HYP my freshman year was definitely not my best race, I was very nervous to be racing at the Division 1 level and felt intimidated by the other runners. This time around, it felt god to be so confident in my running ability and to be one of the upperclassman models for the underclassmen. I knew how to run the race and was instead excited for this race.

HC: How long have you been running? What or who inspired you to pursue running?

KG: I started running in 8th grade at Friends Academy in Long Island, NY. I ran for the varsity winter track team. My mom definitely inspired me, as she was a top runner in high school and ran cross-country at Yale as well. I was also motivated by upperclassmen on the team. I got to be on relay with them, which was a huge honor. Their confidence in the team and in my was truly inspiring me, as well as their tenacity and grit.

HC: Tell us about the Yale Cross Country team.

KG: We are definitely a young team; we have 13 freshmen, 7 sophomores and just 8 upperclassmen. Coach Amy, of the women’s team, is phenomenal. She was new my freshman year and brings so much positive energy to the team. She pushes us hard and has certainly raised the bar, which is certainly clear in our results. Our team is much stronger than it was before as a result of her.

HC: What do you do on a regular training day?

KG: On workout days, we have morning shakeout, where we run 2-4 miles before classes. Then we have afternoon practice in which we have a 2-mile warm up, run 3-6 miles in tempo (intervals) and have a 2-mile cool down. We also have lifts twice a week.

HC: What helped you the most to succeed in cross-country? How did you get to where you are now?

KG:I think being able to take every race as new opportunity has definitely helped me succeed in cross-country. I also have fun with it, which is important because cross-country is a very competitive sport. It can be hard because your place matters for the team’s score, but it is also important for your individual success to get a good time. On some teams, it can be easily not only to get competitive with other teams, but also within the team. The Yale team is just so close, though, and we have fun with it everyday. We have dress up days and other bonding activities that promote a strong team dynamic.

HC: Do you have any tips for other runners or individual athletes?

KG: Run in the trails! It takes your mind off of things and there are so many pretty trails in New Haven, just remember to go with a friend. Also, work hard you’ll see results. Don’t be lazy, challenge yourself and always try to improve on your ability.

HC: What other extracurricular activities do you do at Yale?

KG: I am the co-president of Yale Student Athlete College Council, which hosts different events for student athletes to better their Yale experience. We also serve as resourse to talk about NCAA legislation, etc. Our events include tailgates and a winter ball in the gym. I am also Pre-Med, which takes up a lot of my time.

HC: Why did you choose Yale?

KG: Mainly because of the people. I loved my official visit; there wasn’t a single person met that wasn’t genuinely happy here. People raved about how much they loved the place, how much fun they had, and how big of a support system Yale provides with the residential colleges and many advisors. At first, I didn’t want to go to Yale because my mom went to school and ran here, but when I came on my visit I immediately so why she loved it so much. The opportunities academically and athletically were also a large component of my decision.