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Article Published December 7, 2018
Forbes Leads the Pack as a Junior Captain
PJ Foti, Sports Writer

Reagan Forbes has emerged as a leader for the North Haven girls’ cross country team throughout the past few years. Reagan started distance running in middle school and loved the atmosphere on the high-school squad when she joined the program as a freshman. Now a junior, Reagan recently crossed the finish line on a solid season with the Indians.

“I like the team, and I also like the feeling you get when you finish the race and know you’ve accomplished something,” Reagan says. “We really like to cheer each other on, because we know how hard it is when you’re running, so we want to help each other.”

Reagan led the pack for North Haven while serving as a team captain this fall. She finished off the year by placing 34th at the SCC Championship and 43rd in the Class MM State Championship, clocking in with identical times of 22 minutes and 5 seconds at both meets. Reagan wants to build off what she accomplished in her junior year as a senior next season.

“I definitely enjoyed being a captain, because it helped me to get to know the newcomers better,” says Reagan. “I think that next year things will go more smoothly, because I will already have had the experience of being a leader.”

North Haven only had six people on its roster this year. Reagan says the fact that the Indians featured a small team made everyone on the squad grow that much closer.

“I think it eliminated cliques in the team, because we were one group and all friends with each other. We’d run with different people at different times, which brought us closer together,” she says. “The five other girls on the team always helped me. If I was ever nervous, they would always encourage me, so I want to recognize them for that.”

Head Coach Carl Jackson feels that Reagan worked well with her teammates. Jackson was especially impressed with Reagan’s willingness to help the younger runners on the club get ready for the season.

“Over the last three years, Reagan has developed into a very good distance runner. She works hard during the offseason to get herself in shape, and she also put in a lot of time working with the younger runners,” says Jackson. “She helps them understand what is needed to succeed and how to develop strategy for the cross country races for new runners. It’s an eye-opener when they start out, so she will run with them, talk with them, and so forth.”

Reagan took it upon herself to take North Haven underclass athletes under her wing. She wanted to make a positive impact on them during the summer workouts.

“Over the summer, I tried to run with the newcomers to make sure they wouldn’t be by themselves, and make sure they felt welcomed,” Reagan says. “I tried to encourage them over the summer that the running would happen with time, and they’d build up their mileage to be able to race.”

Reagan’s favorite course to run on is Eisenhower Park in Milford. Reagan was excited that she had the chance to compete at two meets on that course this year.

“It’s a dynamic course, so it has some small uphills and downhills, so you’re not just running on flat ground,” Reagan says. “I think that when I’m going uphill, I feel determined to go faster to get to the top, giving downhill more of a rest. Both of those things help, rather than flat-out running the whole time.”

Reagan’s current personal-record time is 21:40.2. She says her favorite moment of the 2018 campaign came when all six of North Haven’s runners set personal-record marks during the same race.

“Everyone on the girls’ team [set a personal record], and I was very excited about that,” says Reagan. “We all felt a sense of accomplishment as a team and individually.”

Reagan is also a member of the indoor and outdoor track teams at North Haven High School. With the indoor team, Reagan runs the 1,600 and the 4x800 relay. She competes in those two events, as well as the 3,200, as a member of the outdoor squad.

Reagan is looking to have a nice junior year on the track to set the stage for her senior season on the trails. She already has a few goals in mind about what she wants to accomplish with the cross country squad next fall.

“I want to make the All-Conference team, so I want to finish in the top 24 at SCCs,” Reagan says. “I also want to be able to recruit some newcomers next year, so we can rebuild the team.”