When I read the Oct. 3rd article “Red River keeps cross country trophy for another season,” I was disappointed. Had I been unfamiliar with the tradition of the Fork, I may not have understood that winning the Fork was an effort shared between the boys team and the girls team; I would have entirely missed the significance of how Red River won the Fork this year.
In fact it seems that you, as the editor, did miss the significance.
The focus was put entirely on the male athletes: their performance, strategy and placement. The Red River boys head coach was quoted, as was an athlete on the boys team. Were the coaches or any athletes on the Red River girls team quoted? No.
I know with certainty that quotes could have been used in discussion of the girls team’s performance because I was interviewed, as were my coaches and my teammate. This lack of reporting on the female athletes is not because the author of the article failed to gather together the necessary material or because he did not understand the Fork.
There is no surprise in the Red River boys beating the Central boys -- they have in every single race this season. What is significant is that for 19 years the Central girls team has crushed the Red River girls team. This year, we tied them in our racing session. This is the big story of the Fork. We are a competitive team for the first time in the history of our existence. But the article does not convey any of the hard work put in by the girl’s team, or how we raced personal records and season bests, or how my teammate raced her third fastest time ever despite limping across the finish line.
Instead, the totality of the discussion of the female athletes is boiled down to three sentences stuck at the end of the article. At the end of the day, my disappointment is not really about the Fork. It is about the broader issue of women consistently being treated as afterthoughts in the world of sports. In the story on Oct. 3, you too treated all our hard work, dedication, and improvement as an afterthought.
My teammates and I expect better.