Duncan: Defeat Not an Option for this Cross Country Runner
SISTERSVILLE – Though cross country season is over, the clock hasn’t stopped on one athlete’s race for meaning.
Jahnvi Duncan, a junior, was consistently ranked among the best runners in the state by runwv.com. Though Duncan didn’t qualify for the state meet, she pledges to continue running. To her, it’s not about the trophies or accolades.
“I want runners to realize that winning isn’t everything,” she said. “Doing what you love for the enjoyment of doing it means more than anything winning is just a remembrance of how hard you’ve worked to get where you are in that moment.”
When lining up at the start of a race, Duncan is quiet as she intensely focuses her mind inward to prepare for the race ahead by conquering doubts and negative thoughts. Like many runners, old and young, Duncan has experienced her share of injuries, but she has kept moving forward.
“I’ve had a lot of barriers in my way and yes, I’ve come close to ending all the pain and just stop running altogether but that would just make me feel even more defeated because giving up is not how I end things,” she said.
Duncan has achieved high grades and respect from her peers because, among other reasons, of her success in running. That said, Duncan believes – as many successful people do – that she needs to “prove to them that you are only as strong as you make yourself in heart and mind.”
Duncan offered high praise for her teammates who put in long miles to get faster, stronger this season. Katie Pratt often finished close behind her.
“This season running with Katie has really got us being close friends,” Duncan said. “Katie always was always the one in races to push me. I tried my best to motivate her. I don’t think I could be prouder of the team that I had this year.”
Emerging runners Emma Paden and Taylor Ebert are valuable members of the team.”Taylor and Emma’s improvement on this season has really made me proud,” Duncan said. “I hope next year I have the honor of running with them my senior year.
Teammate Josh Frum is an inspiration.
“Frum is someone that I look up to a lot because I’ve watched him run,” she said. “He has run with me all these years and he is like my older brother that I look up to in running. He knows what he wants and goes for it. I’m proud of watching him achieve that goal this year running under 20 minutes.”
The Silver Knights’ coaching staff is led by Brenna Haggerty, an alumnus who holds distance records for the school.
“Jahnvi raced really well (at the Regionals),” Haggerty said. “I couldn’t ask for more than that.”
Duncan also gave credit to coaches Luke Reynolds, who got her started in the sport, as well as Amanda Ebert and Jacob Meyer – “who inspired me to keep going and not give up.”