Earlier this week I had the honor to present the Key to the County Award to North Rockland High School student athlete Katelyn Tuohy. As you may know, the Key to the County is awarded to a person who makes a special contribution to Rockland. We have given keys in the past for acts of love, acts of heroism and selfless acts of service and leadership.
The Key given to Katelyn was to recognize her tremendous accomplishments that have brought pride to the people of Rockland County. On December 1st Katelyn won her second consecutive Nike Cross Nationals championship in Oregon. I look forward to cheering her on next year when she attempts to become the only runner to win the Nike Cross Nationals three times.
Katelyn was also named Gatorade Female Cross Country Player of the Year and Gatorade Track and Field Player of the Year earlier this year. She is the first person to ever win Top Athlete honors in two sports. Earlier this year Katelyn also broke the high school national record for the fastest girl’s 5K cross country finish on grass.
I could go on and on with the records that Katelyn has broken and the awards she has won. But I don’t want this article to take longer than her high school record setting 4 minute and 33 second outdoor mile time to read.
Katelyn’s individual success is rivaled only by the success of the entire North Rockland high school track and cross-country program. Early last month North Rockland girls won the Section 1 Cross-County Championships in Wappingers Falls. They did this without Katelyn and showed exactly the spirit and determination that North Rockland is known for. The Section 1 win is on top of three straight national championships in the girl’s distance medley relay on the track and numerous other successes. Congratulations girls!
One thing that all the news stories about Katelyn and other star athletes don’t often mention is the importance of teamwork. Each of us is supported by those around us. As County Executive, I have all of County Government behind me, working together and pushing us all towards success.
Katelyn and her cross-county and track teammates have the same thing happening at North Rockland, parents, coaches, teachers, administrators and board members all supporting them and helping lift them to even greater heights.
As a former youth coach, myself, I urged all of the young people at the ceremony to take the moments they can to appreciate what North Rockland has and to enjoy each other’s company. What’s happening in North Rockland is remarkable, and I truly look forward to seeing what happens next. Particularly in another year and a half in a little town called Tokyo.
Katelyn and her teammates have given us all reason to celebrate. It was my privilege to award her, on behalf of the people of Rockland, the Key to the County.