Grace Blair, who led the Eagles’ girls team to state titles in both cross country and track and field in her junior season, admitted as a freshman she nearly gave up the sport.
Grace Blair, Oak Hall’s most decorated runner, signed with the University of Florida Monday inside Oxborough Gymnasium.
Blair, who led the Eagles’ girls team to state titles in both cross country and track and field in her junior season, admitted as a freshman she nearly gave up the sport.
“Today was incredibly special for me because around my freshman year, I hit a bit of a mental low point in running and really wasn’t enjoying it anymore,” she said. “I actually considered quitting but after talking to my coach and teammates, who supported my decision either way, I felt like the right choice was to keep running for them because I figured I’d miss them too much and was worried that I’d let them down by stopping.
“It was definitely a moment in my running mentality. My sophomore and junior years I could see my times dropping and felt a renewal drive while training, thanks to a purposeful improvement in my running mentality. Today kind of marked my final step in that improvement because I not only chose to keep running these four years but also for the next four.”
Blair, who started running cross country for Oak Hall as a sixth-grader, was The Sun’s runner of the year as a seventh-grader after finishing sixth at Class 1A state.
She won back-to-back individual state titles in cross country, winning at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee her junior and senior seasons. Blair led the Eagles to state cross country titles in 2016 and 2012.
She led the Eagles to their second straight Class 1A state title in track and field in 2017, winning the 800, 1600 and 3200 and anchoring the winning 4x800 relay.
Blair chose Florida over Florida State, North Carolina, Stanford and Princeton. She also was considering a William & Mary abroad program in Scotland.
“When I first started running, I was so young that I didn’t really think so far ahead as college,” Blair said. “But because my mom had been a collegiate athlete (former UF All-American swimmer) it’s always been in the back of my mind as he ultimate goal of any athlete that truly enjoys what they do.”