“Historic” Wins for Brooks’ Cross-Country Star

“Historic” Wins for Brooks’ Cross-Country Star

How fast is Kata Clark? So speedy that even just keeping up with her cross-country victories is a challenge!

After her third straight New England Prep School Track Association Division III Championships win on November 11 — following her third consecutive ISL win and course record on November 3 — Head of School John Packard pointed out in Chapel why it’s worth taking a moment to stop and process Clark’s "extraordinary achievements." 

"I feel like I’m saying every week that she’s won the New Englands or she’s won the ISL or won a race and it’s true," he said. "She does that, just about every week. But I hope that we appreciate that we’re living through something with her that is historic. We have not had students who have performed as athletes at this level. It’s just incredible. …I hope we know that her work and her performance on the cross-country team is unprecedented in Brooks School’s 97-year history."

Clark '25 admits that her latest win "feels pretty good," alongside her squad’s achievements at the championship in Attleboro, Mass. on Saturday: Brooks girls 1st team cross country came in fourth overall and two additional runners finished in the top 20: Forrester Clark '25 (who finished 8th for the boys) and Phoebe Cogan '26 (who finished 19th for the girls).

That 4th-place finish — out of 20 teams — was the Brooks team's strongest finish at the NEPSTA Championships in 17 years! 

"This historic success is due to the entire team's commitment to the program, their training and their progress throughout the season," said Cross Country Program Director Joanna McDonough. "Kata and the other six 1st team runners — Cogan, Lauren Puglia '25, Arden Sartori '27, Ady Duval '25, Tatum Glynn '27 and Maanya Tailam '25 — were instrumental in this monumental victory for our team!”

"It’s been a really fun season," said Clark, reflecting after she was applauded in Chapel this week. "The hard work that I've done has paid off."

What’s the secret of her success, personally? "Probably just hard work, consistent training and working hard every day," she said. Clark's only real goal is "to keep getting better" and continue running in college.

In the meantime, Brooks’ coaches and teammates help her make strides in that direction. "They’ve been very good supporting me," she said. "Like if I need something extra, or a different time to train. They’ve been really good at helping me push to the extra mile."

Last year, for example, Clark said she wasn’t running the times she wanted. "I was really getting down on myself," she said. But with her support system she "pushed through the hard times and eventually it just clicked and everything worked out."