Emma Payne

“My favorite memory of Harvard is the Cross Country Heps championship race this past fall. As a walk-on to the Cross Country and Track teams, I was initially just grateful to be a part of the program. However, as the years progressed and I reached new personal records each season, I began to improve exponentially and I’ve had an exciting breakout season during my senior year. At Cross Country Heps, the course was a grueling and hilly 6k, and as this was my first time competing at a Heps meet, I was nervous. But I was fit and determined. I was able to crank up the uphill parts and fly down the downhills, and ended up being Harvard’s fourth runner that day. It took me four years to get to a level where I could not only compete at Heps but score for my team, but this made my accomplishment even more special. In running, patience is key (indeed, for me it took years) but it’s essential to enjoy the process, and if you can do that, I’ve learned that you can reach levels you never thought possible.“