Captain Grace Rademacher ’18 started her cross country career in seventh grade when she joined the team at Wellesley Middle School in order to cross-train for lacrosse. Since arriving at Andover, Rademacher has dedicated herself to running and has been a member of Andover Girls Cross Country since her Junior year. Now, she serves as Captain of the team and has led the team to an undefeated season so far.
Though she originally focused on traditional team sports, Rademacher shifted her focus solely to running starting her freshman year at Wellesley High School.
“My older sisters were really into more contact sports, and I liked contact sports, but I think that my greatest skill in them was that I was fast. At some point I realized that running was the thing that made the happiest and what I was most passionate about,” said Rademacher.
Describing Rademacher’s leading spirit, Eva Chilson ’18 said, “I think Grace has always been a leader on the team. It was like she was destined to be Captain. She is so supportive and fun to run with. She is also so passionate about the sport and treats all her teammates like family.”
“This year I have got to see her go from using that goofiness to cheer one person up or make the team laugh to leading the team. Under her leadership, I have seen everyone be more outgoing, even the new people during the fall,” said Lindsay Rosenberg ’19.
Rademacher is well known by her teammates as someone who contributes a great deal of energy and enthusiasm to every practice and meet with her sense of humor and laid back personality.
“Grace is very energetic, and she brings a really good attitude to every practice. Even when it is hot outside and everyone is really nervous for the race, she still maintains the same amount of energy. She definitely makes everyone laugh every single practice and race,” Rosenberg continued.
“[Grace] brings so much positivity to the team that it makes practice such a great part of my day. On Friday, at the end of practice she makes a speech about how the week went and how we should all be pumped for the meet, and then we all go around saying one word to describe the week. It is really nice way to end the week and prepare for the meet,” said Posie Millet ’20.
Despite the large size of the cross country team, Rademacher makes an effort to reach out and get to know everyone on the team, according to Molly MacQueen ’20 and Millet.
“She is very available and approachable, and she also makes an effort to be with people individually on group runs. She is very approachable to the whole team but cares individually,” said MacQueen.
“During preseason we were doing a time trial in the [Cochran Bird Sanctuary], and I heard someone running up behind me. I thought they were trying to pass. From behind me I hear Grace’s voice telling me she’s just trying to catch up to me to run with me. That was really nice to hear because it’s nice to know that even on cross country, which is a pretty individual sport, you are always going to have Grace there to support you,” said Millet.
“Practice feels incomplete without Grace. She brings the entire team together,” said Chilson.
According to Rademacher, cross country has taught her how to be courageous not only as a runner but also as a person.
“I think that running has always been a greater analogy: there is a moment in every race when you are matching with the person next to you stride for stride, and you have hit the bell lap. You know that you can sink a little bit, not put it all on the line and come in second, and be content with the fact that you finished. Or you can really just throw it all out there and know that if they beat you, then you were truly bested because you put it all out there. That is scary, but it is courageous to put yourself out there,” said Rademacher.