Kaylee DuPont’s cross country career at South Forsyth could have had a better end than it did. The state meet in Carrollton was run at midday under an abnormally hot sun, and it took a heavy toll on the War Eagles, with multiple runners needing help to get back on their feet after finishing.
It hasn’t spoiled DuPont’s memories of cross country, though.
“We can’t be mad when all of our girls do their very best,” the War Eagles senior said. “When you see your teammates just coming across the line and collapsing, you know they ran their hardest, and you’re proud of them, no matter the outcome.”
South couldn’t defend the team title in won in 2016, finishing second to Marietta this year, but it was another strong race and season for DuPont. She finished sixth at the state meet, the top individual finish in the county, and had four more top-10 finishes during the season, including second place in 18:35 at the Area 5-7A championships. Her run at the state meet was the fourth time in DuPont's career that she had finished in the top 10 in that race.
DuPont has committed to run in college at Georgia, where she’ll join Millie Bergey, her former teammate at South. The jump to college competition comes with an increase in the race distances, to six kilometers, but DuPont, who’s geared for longer distances, isn’t worried about that.
“See, I’m not scared of it,” she said. “I’m really excited to go up to the 6K and just see what I can do. One of my dreams is to make it to NCAA nationals, and hopefully I can get that done.”
DuPont is already looking back on high school cross country wistfully, reminiscing on happy memories, like winning the state championship in 2016, and ones that were slightly less so, like the day the War Eagles had to do mile repeats in intense thunderstorms.
She still has plenty of mileage left in her career at South, though.
“I do feel like I could have had a better senior season (in cross country),” she said. “But it’s just motivation going into track season, to really have that good end to South Forsyth running.”