East Catholic senior signs letter of intent

By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Thu., Mar. 7, 2013
(L-r) ECHS faculty member Ryan Healey, guidance counselor Stacey Boiselle, parents Tim and Mary Gothers and ECHS track coach Bill Baron stand with Grace Gothers as she signs her letter of intent. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

Grace Gothers, a senior at East Catholic High School, has signed an athletic letter of intent to attend Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, where she will continue her athletic career in indoor track, outdoor track and cross country. The commitment to run at Southern, and the scholarship that accompanies it, is a milestone for Gothers that she has worked hard to reach.

“I knew I wanted to run in college, so I was definitely working all year and the past three years for it,” she said. “It's good to know all my hard work has paid off.”

Gothers ran indoor and outdoor track and cross country all four of her years at East Catholic. “Running is such an important part of my life,” Gothers said. “It has connected me to so many great people; it's made me meet so many great friends, and it's a great form of exercise.”

She has placed second in the Class SS meets for all four years in cross country. An achievement in and of itself, that consistent second-place status has been tantalizing, as well. “A new person has beat me every year,” she said. “But it's given me something to work for for the next season.” Gothers also received All-State, All-Academic, and All-Conference honors for the last four years. In indoor track, she has placed in the top 10 in the Class S meets all four years, and placed 16th in the 2012 New England Meet.

This year, Gothers was the captain of her cross country team. “It makes it not just about yourself,” she said. In her leadership role, she was responsible for making the entire team, especially freshmen and newcomers, feel included and unified. “It was definitely an honor knowing that they could look up to me and ask for advice about running, and I was able to answer them,” she said.

Running is only one of the activities Gothers is involved in at East Catholic. She is an active member of student government, participates in the class executive board, and is a member of the Human Rights Club. “I think extracurriculars besides sports are also an important way to enrich yourself and involve yourself in school,” she said. Like running, these activities get her involved in the community and have helped her build strong friendships throughout the years.

She has also been an Irish step-dancer for 13 years through the Griffith Academy in Wethersfield. “That's also been a great way to meet new people,” she said. “It's fun and I've really enjoyed my time doing it.”

Gothers said she is grateful for her coach, Bill Baron, who has been an instrumental part of her running career. “He supports me and always made me feel really confident, and has been a great positive role model for me,” she said.

Her time at East Catholic is filled with fond memories. “I wouldn't take it back for anything,” she said. “It's definitely been the best four years of my life. I think I'll never forget my time there, because it was so amazing.”

Gothers plans on studying speech pathology at Southern. With graduation swiftly approaching, she considers the end of her high school career “bittersweet.”

“I'm definitely going to miss the small, tight-knit community that East Catholic does offer, and everything about it,” she said.

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