Farine’s leadership key for SSHS girls
Caroline Farine isn’t going to get to run her last race for the Siloam Springs girls cross country team, but she isn’t going to let that stop her from helping the Lady Panthers win their fourth straight state title on Friday.
Farine, a senior, is out with a stress fracture on her foot and won’t be healthy enough to run at the Class 6A meet at 3:45 p.m. Friday in Hot Springs.
She hurt the foot from overuse over the course of cross country season.
Farine tried to give it a go last week at the 6A-West Conference Meet in Russellville, but wasn’t able to produce the time needed to qualify for the state meet.
“It was frustrating,” Farine said. “I wanted to be better but I just wasn’t.”
It’s another tough break for Farine, who has been one of the Lady Panthers’ top runners since she was a freshman, in what has been a string of tough breaks throughout her high school career.
Farine has battled knee issues and asthma in her time, including at the 6A State Meet last year when the asthma got the best of her and she wasn’t able to finish.
The incomplete state meet gave her inspiration and drive in her senior year, according to her head coach Sharon Jones.
“This year has been totally different,” Jones said. “Her team did not choose her as a captain, but it didn’t stop her from being a leader. Even though she didn’t have a title, she didn’t need it.”
Farine was leading the Lady Panthers in summer workouts and being very vocal on and off the cross country course.
“We needed that from a senior,” Jones said.
Midway through the year, Farine’s coaches and teammates decided to recognize that leadership.
Even though she can’t run in Friday’s state meet, Farine will bring that leadership with her to Oaklawn Park as Siloam Springs aims for another state title.
“I can treat it two different ways,” Farine said. “I can let (the injury) tear me apart or I can help build up my teammates as much as possible.”
She’ll definitely choose the latter and, stress fracture and all, will be cheering on her teammates Friday afternoon.
— Graham Thomas is the managing editor for the Herald-Leader. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions expressed are those of the author.