SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – UPDATED – After Friday’s decision from Governor Cuomo to keep school’s closed for the rest of the academic year.
Tully junior Brooke Rauber started in competitive running journey in seventh grade. She has yet to find a race course she doesn’t like. Her last outdoor race brought her to Canada for the Pan American Cross Country championships this past February.
“I got to go and meet all those different people from a bunch of different countries and I got to go with my family so it was just a fun trip we made out of it,” said Rauber.
Brooke earned her way to the Pan Am race by winning the USA Cross Country Championships in January getting her first chance to where USA across her chest.
“It was so exciting, I knew that the top six qualified from the national meet. I ended up winning. I didn’t expect to win I thought I could finish top three,” said Rauber. “It was just so cool. I know everyone was super excited.”
Rauber then won the Pan Am race in 23:12 competing against runners from across the Americas and the Caribbean.
“I just knew my training was where it should be and that it was gonna pay off in the end. And usually the end is my strong suit. So, I knew if it came down to it, I knew I could do it,” said Rauber.
This victory adds to her long list of wins. The junior is a four-time cross country Section III and NYSPHSAA State Champion winning four years straight from her eighth grade year to this past fall. She is a three-time Section III and state champion in the steeplechase, winning that every year since eighth grade. She won the 3000m race at the 2019 Penn Relays. And has placed in the top 10 in four trips to the Nike Cross Nationals and in three trips to the New Balance Outdoor Nationals, including a second place finish in the steeplechase in 2019.
“So we always thought she’d be good but we didn’t think she’d be this good,” said Michelle Rauber, Brooke’s mom and Tully head coach. “She’s done more than we ever would have thought and I always think this is about as good as she’s gonna get and then she does something else and then she does something else. She surprises me a lot in practices, she surprises me in meets.”
Michelle has had a front row seat to Brooke’s success and cherishes every moment.
“You know coaching your own daughter and watching her excel and everything she puts into it. It’s been amazing,” said Michelle. “Coaching is one of my favorite things to do but then when you get to coach your own kid on top of that. You live with her everyday but you get to see different aspects of her every day it’s just been the best ever.”
Brooke, of course, credits her Mom with a lot of her growth. But it’s also the competition she faces.
“Definitely my coach and my mom has helped me. But along with my teammates and my ‘adopted teammates’ that I’ve become close with from other teams. They just pushed me the whole time,” said Brooke.
Those ‘adopted teammates’ include runners from Section III, like Claire Walters from Fayetteville-Manlius and the Hornets runners. But also, nationally. Katelyn Touhy from North Rockland has won the NXN three times and has become a role model for Brooke.
“I think they definitely have helped me improve as a runner, like being put up against that really tough competition,” said Brooke. “I wouldn’t be as far as I was without them.”
Section III was still holding out hope for a regular season, but Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday that schools will remain closed for the rest of the year meaning students will not be allowed to participate in spring sports.
Now the the attention will turn to the New Balance Outdoor Nationals which have been rescheduled from June to July 16-19th. Brooke will participate in the steeplechase.
As for college, that has been undecided. She is continuing to weigh her options and has narrowed the list down to five schools.