Farine’s lead­er­ship key for SSHS girls

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - SPORTS - Gra­ham Thomas

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 gth­omas@nwadg.com. The opin­ions ex­pressed are those of the au­thor.

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