Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Sports Person of the Week

Antony Travels a Historic Path

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Senior captain Julia Antony led the Guilford girls’ cross country team to a storybook season this year, claiming first place when the Grizzlies took the title at the Class MM State Championship. Photo courtesy of Julia Antony

Senior captain Julia Antony led the Guilford girls’ cross country team to a storybook season this year, claiming first place when the Grizzlies took the title at the Class MM State Championship. (Photo courtesy of Julia Antony)

Julia Antony has always considered herself a competitive athlete. For the past four years, Julia’s used her competitive edge to blaze a storied trail as a runner at Guilford High School.

Julia recently capped off her career with the Guilford girls’ cross country team by helping the Grizzlies win divisional, SCC, and state titles this fall. Julia took first place in the race when Guilford claimed the crown at the Class MM State Championship.

Julia has competed in several sports throughout her life, including dance, gymnastics, basketball, soccer, and lacrosse. When she arrived at Adams Middle School, Julia signed up for the cross country team, hoping that the sport would resonate with her more than the others she tried as a child.

“In middle school, I needed to do something to stay active, so I joined the cross country team at Adams in 7th grade,” says Julia. “I definitely was not the most naturally gifted at running, but I liked it enough to sign up for the high school team.”

Now a senior at Guilford High School, Julia is among the best cross country runners in Connecticut. Julia finished first at this year’s Class MM State Championship meet by posting a time of 19 minutes and 45 seconds, which was 44 seconds faster than the runner-up. Julia went on to run a time of 19:17 to come in 10th place at the State Open, after which she finished 25th at the New England Championship.

Prior to helping Guilford take first place at states, Julia finished first at the SCC Hammonasset Division Championship and third in the SCC Championship, leading the Grizzlies to their sixth-straight division title and their fifth-consecutive conference title.

“Overall, this season went very well. We were able to meet all of our goals as a team, including winning SCCs, MMs, and qualifying for the New England meet,” Julia says. “As an individual, the highlight of the season was definitely winning the MM state meet. It was incredibly rewarding to cross the finish line that day as a state champ.”

Much of Julia’s success stems from her extra effort both on and off the pathways. Over the years, Julia has added more and more to her workout routine in order to increase her aerobic fitness and stay healthy.

“I’ve determined that in order to be a successful runner, the work doesn’t end when you leave the track,” says Julia. “A few times a week during the summer, I head to the gym and either run two to three extra miles on the treadmill, or bike for 30 to 40 minutes. Diet and sleep are also major factors that need to be considered as an athlete. There are certain sacrifices you need to be willing to make to get to that next level.”

In addition to cross country, Julia also competes for girls’ indoor and outdoor track and field teams at Guilford. Last spring, Julia finished first in the 1,600 at both the SCC East Sectional Championship and the SCC Championship for the outdoor squad.

Julia, who has served as captain in both cross country and track since her junior year, is looking forward to her senior seasons with Guilford’s track teams. Julia will continue her career in each sport when she attends Brown University next year.

“My major goals are to run 4:50 in the mile and 10:30 in the two-mile. They are lofty, but I am so excited to put in the work to get as close as possible,” Julia says. “I have recently committed to Brown University, where I will continue running at the Division I level. There, I would like to study either biology or psychology. I am so beyond excited for this opportunity, both as an athlete and a student.”

Julia’s favorite memory as an athlete came during her junior season of outdoor track last year. In Guilford’s final meet of the season, Julia accomplished one of her longtime goals by breaking the five-minute mark in the mile. It was a moment that she will never forget.

“I was patient in the first three laps, but we were off pace going into the last lap, so I decided to make a bold move. It was the most motivated I had ever been,” says Julia. “At the end, I just made the time with a 4:59 exactly. This had been a huge goal of mine since freshman year, when I was running over 5:40. But I knew that with relentless dedication, anything was possible.”


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