Doran Performs at a High Level While Building a Positive Team Culture

Christopher Tremblay
Issue Date: 
February, 2018
Article Body: 

It wasn’t really a sport that she thought that she’d be doing. While her two older brothers found interest in running, Hopedale’s Isabelle Doran found herself participating in softball and gymnastics, but as she got closer to high school age things would change forever.
“It was in seventh grade, my brothers both enjoyed running and my mother thought that it would be a good idea for me to try it out,” Doran said. “She had the idea that since I liked running in softball that I would enjoy running. She was right, I really found the team atmosphere comfortable and liked seeing the improvement of times.”
As a seventh grader Doran originally ran 1.8 miles in 25 minutes and by the conclusion of the year her time had dropped dramatically around 17 minutes.
“Originally I was reluctant to run as I thought that it was much more work than anything that I had ever done in gymnastics or softball,” she said. “It really scared me, but as the year season went on and my times dropped I became more4 comfortable with ruining.”
At the beginning running cross country for the junior varsity team Doran was able to keep up with the older eighth grade girls, but when she ran with the varsity squad she s=found herself much further in the back of the pack.
Her spring track times were just as impressive. Running primarily the mile she broke six minutes as a seventh grader, which was rather impressive. Over the next few season in track and cross country Doran began to carve a niche for herself. In eighth grade she was running in the third spot for the varsity team and by her sophomore campaign had become the team’s number one runner. As a freshman she broke the 20 minute mark running a 5k. IN track she was running both the mile and 2-mile for Hopedale and as a freshman was able to qualify for both events in the State Tournament. That year she also broke the 12 minute mile as well.
“She was typically a mile and 2-mile runner for us but she has great range so we’ll occasionally use her in the 600, 1000 and the relays,” Hopedale Coach Tim Maguire said. “At first she was very tentative, but soon found herself very comfortable running. Now she is definitely self-confident in her ability.”
Last season she qualified for the 800, mile, 2-mile and 4 x 800 relay team in the States. Once there she ran the 2-mile and was part of the 4 x 800 relay team. As part of the relay team Maguire was just trying to introduce the girls to the event on such a large level.
“We were not looking to win, Coach gave us each specific time to run during our leg because of the talented competition we were up against,” Doran said. “It was a little nerve racking as I ran the first leg of the race then had to sit and watch the rest of my team.”
Last year Dornan was hoping to break the school record in the 2-mile. Her best time in the event was 11:49.69, which was seven seconds shy of the record so needless to say that is one of the first goals she is looking to take down this season.
“My main focus this year is the 2-mile. I really like the race because it is longer and allows you more time to make moves and figure out your plan,” she said. “I also allows you to make up time if you do make a mistake.”
While she currently finds herself as the second d best 2-miler in school history, she also finds herself in second place in the mile with a time of 5:33.69.
“Although I have not been focusing on it as much as the 2-mile I really want to get my mile time under 5:30 as I’ve been stuck on my current time for years,” she said. “I’m physically strong and capable of doing it, but I think that I am not mentally strong to do it. My competition affects me and whenever they run past me I seem to lose momentum.”
Coach Maguire is not worried about Doran and her ability to become the top female runner in her events at Hopedale high School.
“She always performs at a high level,” the Coach said. “Throughout the years she has progressed in not only her training, but she has come along as a leader as well. She builds a positive team culture.”
It may not be right away, but it will come and by the time she leaves Hopedale High School Doran should be the rightful owner of the best times in her events.