By Rachel Stanton and GiGi Anello
Sophie St. George, an eighth grader from Bird Middle School, placed 3rd overall in the Mile at the 8th Massachusetts Middle School Track and Field Championship Meet at Clinton High School on Saturday, June 2. By placing 3rd overall with a time of 5:27, she qualified for the Regional Meet on June 16, which she will be competing in at Fitchburg State College.
“She was in eighth place halfway through the mile, but by the third lap she was in fifth and by the end of the race she was just barely behind the first two runners, placing third,” said Head Coach Fiona Murphy said.
Her performance caps off her year as a standout runner in the Middle School XC & Track and Field Programs. Before entering the middle school program, St. George discovered her love for running at the Boyden Elementary School.
“She followed in her sister Sarah’s footsteps by joining the Boyden Running Club,” Jill St. George, Sophie’s mother, said.
Now in middle school, St. George has made a name for herself state-wide in the running world.
In 2016, she placed first in the seventh grade division of the Massachusetts State Cross Country Meet with a record breaking time of 11:43 on the 3K course. Placing first allowed her to advance to Regionals in New York, where she ran a 16:52 4K on a challenging new course for her, to end her season.
“She has always been a talented runner who has joy for running and is definitely super self motivated,” Murphy said.
In her eighth grade year, St. George was determined to come back to the state meet, looking to move farther than she did the previous year.
“She’s funny, she definitely gets a little nervous,” Murphy said. “She gets quiet before her races, but I think she is able to take that in a positive way and put it out into her race.”
Back at the Deven’s course in 2017, St. George placed second to Weston’s Carmel Fitzgibbon, with a time of 12:16, advancing her to Regionals for the second time. Regionals was held in Smithfield, Rhode Island, another new course for St. George. She raced twice on the Smithfield course for both Regionals and New Englands, placing in the top 30 both times, allowing her to progress to Nationals for the first time.
“Last year when I didn’t make it to nationals I set a goal for my 8th grade cross country season to make it, and I ended up reaching my goal as I went to Tallahassee, Florida,” St. George said.
Many of Sophie’s teammates look up to her and are amazed of how fast she can be. St. George is known to be a down to earth teammate who is confident, hard working and interacts well with other middle schoolers on her middle school team.
“She has a good time with the kids and she relates well with them. She is certainly very humble about how well she is,” said Coach Murphy.
When St. George is not running track she continues to stay active, playing for the club soccer team, FC Boston ‘03 ECNL. In addition, she plays for the top U14 softball team and she also competes in horse shows and continues to rank high in her division.
Her parents, Jill and Mike, encourage her to continue playing a variety of sports.
“Although she has had some early success with running, we are encouraging her to stay well rounded and not to focus too early on one activity,” Mike and Jill St. George said.
St. George not only excels on the track but also in the classroom. While attending Bird Middle School she consistently makes honor roll. Sophie challenges herself with a varying level of courses ranging from advanced Math and English to the school’s select chorus group.
Outside of sports St. George has an artistic side of her that she credits her grandfather Bill St. George for, who owned an art studio in Boston, MA.
“My favorite class is science because I find it a lot more interesting than any other class and enjoy learning from my mistakes,” St. George said.
Overall St. George continues to do what she loves most, running.
Murphy said, “She has been with us for three years and now she has begun to come into her own as far as focusing on her drive and being able to achieve what she is now capable of as an older athlete.”