Since The Bristol Press started doing an â€śAthlete of the Weekâ€ť story a couple of decades ago, siblings have been chosen on two occasions. Thus the selection of brother and sister, Christopher and Katie Deforest, creates another one of these rare weeks.
The children of Jennifer and John Deforest of Plymouth, the two run cross country for Terryville High as a freshman and junior class member, respectively. Last week, the pair both finished first for the Kangaroos in competing against host Northwestern and Wamogo at White Memorial in Litchfield.
Christopher Deforest finished with a time of 17:31 as he and his teammates beat Wamogo 15-50, while falling to Northwestern by a close 26-31 score. The Terryville girls fielded less than a full team and lost to the two visiting schools by a score of 15-50. Katie Deforest, however, claimed the best time in posting a 23:02.
This past Saturday, Terryville hosted and topped both Lewis Mills and Shepaug in boys and girls cross country with the boys winning twice with Christopher Deforest taking first against both schools with a time of 17:24.
â€śThough quiet, Chris is a leader on our team,â€ť Kangaroos co-head coach Stephanie Konopaske said. â€śNot only does he constantly strive to be the best he can be, he does everything in his power to push his teammates to their limits. He is unwilling to let anything get in his way. With his fierce competitiveness, he is going to do great things in the future.
â€śKatie may not be so quiet, but she is a workhorse just like her brother. She has showed endless perseverance this year. Our small girls team means that Katie has to make the choice day-in and day-out to push herself and run with the boys. She is a fiery competitor and wonâ€™t take no for an answer.â€ť
The brother and sister both began running cross country while in the fourth grade and that was with the club at Plymouth Center School.
â€śI like how itâ€™s a base for all sports,â€ť Chris said of cross country. â€śIt gives you the athleticism you need. Itâ€™s a freedom type of thing. You go out for a run and itâ€™s an escape from life.â€ť
Their mother said Katie followed in her brotherâ€™s footsteps.
â€śItâ€™s kind of a freedom to run,â€ť Katie said. â€śItâ€™s fun and you can get in shape.â€ť
And running as a teammate has been good for her brother.
â€śI feel like Iâ€™m a good role model for her,â€ť Chris said. â€śItâ€™s just cool to have your sister on the team. Last year, I couldnâ€™t see her run, so now I can.â€ť
His sister added that having her brother on the team has been motivational and on the way home after meets and practices her brother shares tips in helping her to get better. And getting better is tied in with setting goals, which the siblings both have.
â€śItâ€™s to do well in the Berkshire (League competition and championship) and be an all-star, also to be All-State once again.â€ť Chris said. â€śI got seventh in [Class] SS last year and this year itâ€™ll be S. My best time to date is 16:58 and thatâ€™s from last year, and Iâ€™d like to get high 16:30â€™s or low 16:40â€™s.â€ť
His sister also has goals of times and placements.
â€śI hope to run in the 19:00â€™s by the time Iâ€™m a senior,â€ť Katie said. â€śI want to break 21:00 this year, my best time is 21.32-ish. I think itâ€™s possible.â€ť
Both siblings will be doing both indoor and outdoor track. Chris has been doing both indoor and outdoor track and his sister will join him a as freshman. Katie previously played softball in the spring. Chris, who runs both the mile and two-mile, is looking for times of 4:30 and 9:30, respectively. His sister said she will likely compete in both the one and two mile, while also shorter runs.
And although Chris is a junior, heâ€™s already thinking about the future.
â€śI want to run cross country, indoor track and outdoor track in college and Iâ€™m thinking toward studying physical therapy or athletic training,â€ť he said.
School class records for cross country show the siblings listed a few times when looking at freshman, sophomore and junior timings. Chris is already among the schoolâ€™s all-time best and his sister is on her way there.