Audrey Suarez ’21 ran a lightning mile in 4:47, making her among the fastest freshman high school runners in the nation last year. This fall, she rocketed into Mayfield Cub history, winning the CIF State State Cross Country Championship and helping to elevate the Cub team to seventh place overall.
For these achievements we give enthusiastic high-fives to Audrey for her stellar athletic record in Cross Country and Track & Field. We also commend her sportsmanship and her expressions of gratitude to family, team and coaches.
“We all lift each other up on the team,” she said of the Cubs. “Running with the team makes practice fun, especially in those early morning hours. And when you race your hardest and do your best, you help your team.’
Audrey brought great honor to Mayfield at the state championship race with her head-turning time of 17:44 in the Division IV three-mile race. This was the Cubs’ first ever win at state for either a team or individual.
The Cubs Cross Country team placed seventh statewide, our fifth consecutive top-10 finish and a showing that solidified Mayfield’s reputation as a powerhouse in the sport.
“Theirs is a study of perseverance and grit,” Athletic Director Steve Bergen said of the team. “These girls seized the opportunity to run in state and refused to take a step back.
When it comes to Audrey, he said, “we have spoken much of her this season and for good reason. She exemplifies sportsmanship, dedication and uncommon athleticism. She makes us proud.”
After her state win, Audrey went on to race in the 2018 Foot Locker Cross Country nationals in San Diego, placing 35th against the top fastest 40 runners in the nation.
“I got to go out there and embrace the whole experience with the best in the country,” she said, adding that she hopes to return next year. She said she would likely change her strategy if she returns to nationals.
She said she did not kick up her pace in the first mile, preserving energy for a final blast. However, the other runners kept a fast pace and she could not catch up.
“I should not have expected these girls to slow down,” she said. “It was a learning experience. But I was so honored to be there.”
Audrey attended Mayfield Junior School and as early as the third grade her P.E. teachers noticed her speed on the playground. At that young age, she joined the fifth and sixth grade track team. But participation at that level was short lived and she soon joined the seventh and eighth graders.
“That’s when I knew that we may have found her sport,” said her mother Vivian.
She had decided to attend Mayfield Senior School in part because of our strong cross country team. With two cross country seasons and one track season behind her, she said her teammates have become her closest friends and Mayfield is her second home.
“There is so much trust among us on the team,” she said. “My team members are my biggest source of inspiration.”
She said the team bonds were closest after she had to stop her rigorous training schedule—in which she runs 3-10 miles a day—because of a hip injury.
“All the time my friends were sending me text messages and encouraging me that I could come back from anything,” she said.
She was healed in time to run in a qualifying race for the state finals. She said she thrives on the challenge of her sport and sets high expectations for herself.
“The demanding sport encouraged me to surround myself with dreamers, believers and passionate people who help me achieve my goal,” Audrey said at a recent school-wide prayer service about gratitude.
“If I share my list of goals to any random person, chances are they’d think I’m crazy or unrealistic,” she said. “However, if I showed that same list to one of my running buddies, coaches, or family members, they would tell me to reach higher. It is their optimism and positivity that makes me who I am today.”
Audrey is already training for the track season, where she hopes to break her personal best record from her freshman year.
“My dream is to keep surprising myself,” she said.