It's hard to settle for number two. But that's what Jody Dushay--after three years of being number one--has had to face.
The Harvard freshman cross country runner ran in the top spot for her first three years in high school but took it in stride when another runner took her place her senior year.
"Jody's the kind of person that will succeed no matter what she tries," says David McLaughlin, Dushay's cross country and track coach at Brighton High School in Rochester, N.Y.
It might be said that Dushay is the quintessential cross country runner: she combines her outstanding talents with an intense desire for team success and has already become an integral part of the Harvard cross country squad.
Dushay comes to Harvard with a string of successes behind her, and, if her impressive performances in her first two meets in a Crimson uniform are any indication, that string will continue to grow.
Dushay left a large imprint in the Brighton program, although she was bumped to the number-two slot by an All-American in her final season.
Still, Dushay was one of the top runners in New York, a state which boasts some of the most competitive high school runners in the nation. A three-year captain of the team, she helped lead Brighton to the New York State Federation Cross Country Championship in 1984.
In 1985, she was a member of the New York state indoor 4 x 800 meter champion relay team. And last spring she ran a leg of a 4 x 1 mile relay that set a national scholastic record of 20:11 at the Eastern States Track Championships at Hofstra University.
Her list of individual successes is also impressive. It includes a second-place finish in the 10,000 meters at the Empire State Games in 1984 and a fourth-place showing at the National Pathmark Indoor Classic at Princeton last winter.
The Empire State 10,000-meter race was Dushay's only competition at that distance in high school, and she's looking forward to running it more for Harvard.
But, says Dushay, "succeeding as a team far outweighs succeeding as an individual."
Experience proves her point. In the fall of her junior year at Brighton, Dushay tore ligaments in her right foot and spent six weeks in a cast. She did not fully recover from the injury for almost a year.
Nevertheless, says McLaughlin, "She's the kind of person who could let [an injury] bother her, but she has always come back."
Jody's determination and maturity impress Harvard cross country Coach Ed Sheehan.