Senior Yarbrough Caps Historic Career

Sam Thomas ‘20 

Senior Sports Writer

Striding by: senior track star Caroline Yarbrough ’19 pushes past an opponent during a race; a familiar site during her Davidson career.Photo courtesy of Tim Cowie.

At the Atlantic 10 Indoor Track and Field Championships this past February, Caroline Yarbrough ‘19 finished second in the 3000 meter run. Though the podium finish in of itself was an impressive feat, the race itself epitomized the grit with which Yarbrough has raced over her four years at Davidson. Having been out-kicked by Emily Mulhern, a middle-distance runner from the University of Virginia who now runs at VCU, the night before in the 5000 meter run, Yarbrough made a valiant move to the front with about a half mile remaining. Doing so had a much higher risk, but also would be the more likely way in which she could beat Mulhern. As a result, La Salle’s Grace Mancini won the race and Mulhern passed Yarbrough with about 300 meters to go. However, Yarbrough had one final surge and passed Mulhern in the final 50 meters to take silver.

Each year, the competition has changed, but Yarbrough’s mentality has not: “I think about all the people who have encouraged, supported, and helped me throughout the season, including my coaches, parents, teammates, and the Davidson Athletic Department, and how I want to let my performance honor their investments in me.” 

Yarbrough’s mentality has fueled her to an A-10 title in the 3000 meter run indoors during her freshman and sophomore seasons, as well as a title in the 5000 meter run outdoors during her sophomore season. As a whole, Yarbrough has scored 107 points over seven conference championships in track and field. That is, she scored ten points for each first place finish, eight points for each second place finish, six points for each third place finish, and five points for each fourth place finish. In the history of the A-10, less than ten athletes have accomplished that feat. 

Competition has always come second nature to Yarbrough, who played soccer, field hockey, basketball, lacrosse, tennis, and swimming growing up. However, she added that “competing with the Davidson ‘D’ across my chest amplifies my love of competition to another dimension. Running for Davidson means I am running for something greater than myself; I am representing the countless people who have invested in me, from my coaches, teammates, and the Davidson Athletic Department staff who have encouraged and pushed me, to my professors who kindly asked about my race when I have to miss class, to the Commons worker who wishes me good luck when he sees me in my uniform grabbing oatmeal prior to a meet. I hope to use my performance as a way to express my deep gratitude for the ability to compete for our incredible institution.” 

Both on and off the track, Yarbrough has been a leader at Davidson. “Running for Davidson has molded me into a driven and results-oriented individual, a reliable and collaborative team player, a respectful and honest competitor, and an uplifting and committed leader, both by example and vocally,” she said.

Though the competition changes from year to year, Yarbrough once again will be one of the favorites in both the 5000 and 10,000 meter runs in the A-10 Outdoor Track and Field Championships. She has an opportunity to set the conference record for most points scored by an individual over the course of four years. To do so would certainly be a phenomenal accomplishment, but Yarbrough will graduate as one of the most decorated athletes in the history of Davidson Track and Field regardless of her performance this upcoming weekend. From winning the Rookie of the Year in the A-10 her freshman cross country season, to the ten podium appearances thus far, Yarbrough has been the model of consistent racing in championship meets. 

Yarbrough looks to continue to run after college with one of a number of potential elite and sub-elite clubs. In addition, she will look to try to use her running for good by volunteering with one of many potential groups. Two examples of these groups that Yarbrough plans on working with are “Girls on the Run [a group that inspires young girls to exercise and live healthy lifestyles] or Back on My Feet, a nonprofit organization that uses running and mentorship as a means to help individuals that are homeless, battling substance abuse, or at-risk garner the confidence, goal-setting mentality, and physical and mental strength to achieve a path towards self-sufficiency.”

We, as a Davidson community, are very fortunate to have had Yarbrough at our school. Her dedication and commitment has made us all better off as a result. She leaves a strong legacy of excellence behind her and will undoubtedly find successes in her future.

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