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Nana Dondorful-Amos: Resilient Runner

Melody Cui ’23 Co-Lead Sports Editor
Nana Dondorful-Amos ’22, co-captain of Girls Cross Country, began her Hopkins athletic career with a brief stint on the Junior School Girls Soccer Team. After finding herself wishing for “more running in [soccer] practice,” Dondorful-Amos joined Cross Country in eighth grade and hasn’t stopped running since.
Part of Dondorful-Amos’ love for running comes from the feeling of accomplishment that accompanies improvement, which can be easily measured through race times. When training, Dondorful-Amos admits that it can be “intimidating.” But once she “see[s her] place and time” after competing in a race, all the hard work “feels like it’s worth it, which is such a great feeling. Running is rewarding.”

As much as Dondorful-Amos loves to run, even she is not immune to the difficulties of the sport. “Running is hard for everyone,” said Dondorful-Amos bluntly. She continued: “Even if you’re a fast runner, it’s still really difficult.” However, Dondorful-Amos has learned how to move past the mental barriers that can often get in the way: “Your brain is not always trying to do what’s best for you; it’s just trying to make you feel comfortable,” she explained. “Sometimes what your body needs is a little push, because you can’t always improve without really pushing yourself.” At the same time, Dondorful-Amos warned against pushing oneself too far, emphasizing the importance of “listen[ing] to your body, not your brain.”

The closeness of the team, which Dondorful-Amos described as “a big friend group,” has made cross-country a highlight of Dondorful-Amos’s time at Hopkins. Some of Dondorful-Amos’s favorite moments have been spent with her cross-country teammates. Team dinners are “especially memorable” to Dondorful-Amos. A staple of team sports at Hopkins, team dinners “help [facilitate] team bonding,” as teammates get the chance to “hang out with each other and play games in a non-school setting,” said Dondorful-Amos.

As captain this year, Dondorful-Amos is taking on additional responsibilities, including leading exercises and runs during practice. Teammate Ava Maccaro ’24 described Dondorful-Amos as a “tremendous leader, guiding the team through [their] runs, workouts, and stretches [with] a sense of humor and a constant smile on her face!” Co-captain Suthi Navaratnam-Tomayko ’22 added that Dondorful-Amos is “excellent at keeping everyone on task and motivated.” Coach Miguel Pizarro observed, “[Dondorful-Amos] leads by example and has the respect of [her] team.” As one of the more experienced members on the team, Dondorful-Amos also acts as a mentor to many of the newer members. Questions “about the workout or "what should I do in this situation?’” said Dondorful-Amos, are often directed to her. Even before assuming the role of captain, Dondorful-Amos was a “kind face” to turn to, said Maccaro. “She welcomed me as an eighth grader when I first ran with the high school team and has been by my side ever since.”

While the Fall 2020 season was largely marred by the pandemic, Dondorful-Amos still has plenty to show for her time on the team. In Fall of 2019, Dondorful-Amos placed sixth at the FAA (Fairchester Athletic Association) Championships, making her part of the FAA First team. That same season, the Hopkins Cross-Country team won the FAA Championships. 

This year, Dondorful-Amos is working towards achieving the goals she set at the beginning of the season. Her personal goal is straight-forward: “get faster.” She also hopes “to win FAAs” with her team. But most importantly, Dondorful-Amos is looking forward to “spending one last cross-country season with [her] friends.”
Editor in Chief 
Melody Cui

Managing Editor 
Riley Foushee

Evie Doolittle
Aanya Panyadahundi
Sam Cherry
Sophie Denny
Anya Mahajan
Vivian Wang
Hanna Jennings
Megan Davis
Mira Krichavsky
Asher Joseph
Amalia Tuchmann
Rose Robertson
Shriya Sakalkale
Sarvin Bhagwagar
Daniela Rodriguez-Larrain
Sophia Neilson
Zoe Sommer
Eli Ratner
Teddy Witt

Tanner Lee
Amir McFerren
Connor Tomasulo
Maggie Russell
Arielle Rieder
Anika Madan
Alex Lopez

Dhalia Brelsford
Hailey Willey

Web Editors
Grace Laliberte
Brayden Gray

Business Manager
Luca Vujovic

Faculty Advisers
Stephen May
Elizabeth Gleason
David Harpin
The Razor's Edge reflects the opinion of 4/5 of the editorial board and will not be signed. The Razor welcomes letters to the editor but reserves the right to decide which letters to publish, and to edit letters for space reasons. Unsigned letters will not be published, but names may be withheld on request. Letters are subject to the same libel laws as articles. The views expressed in letters are not necessarily those of the editorial board.
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