Written by: Vilanna Wang
The first time I ever heard Sohan’s name was one week in middle school, when they were announcing the “Athlete of the Week” things that we had during convocation. I think almost every single time cross country had a race, Sohan’s name was announced as a nominee for the following week’s athlete. It was almost funny – his name just became expected because everyone knew he was just that good. When I joined cross country myself in my freshman year of high school, Sohan’s name was already making waves not just within the school or even Memphis, but in the entire high school running community of Tennessee. As many of you already know, Sohan is a senior this year – meaning he just finished his final season of cross country at Lausanne. Beyond being such a skilled runner, everyone on the team can agree that he is an incredibly nice and supportive person. I could type so much about what a great person and leader Sohan is to all of us, but I’ll let you hear from the rest of the team themselves just how amazing he is.
Coach Jack Gallop remembers “first meeting Sohan a few years ago and wondering if the hype was all real”, but quickly realized “how fast and gifted he really was”. Damla Onder spoke about her experience seeing how supportive Sohan always was, saying that “[she] remembers having a knee problem at the beginning of the season and not doing as well because of it, but he was always there for me, always pushing me, always cheering for me” and fondly remembers “always getting chocolate milk with him after practice”, adding that “cross country’s just not going to be the same without Sohan”. Peter Calkins says that “having him [Sohan] in front of me has always given me something to work for” and “everyone on our team has fun with him…Great guy, absolute machine”, while Kelvin Borges describes Sohan as a “great team leader because everyone looks up to him”, saying that he has “really enjoyed these past three years running with him because it’s always really fun and we connect on so many levels”.
Almost every person I spoke to described Sohan as not just extraordinarily talented and fast, but also very modest. Yagmur recalls how “he doesn’t brag, doesn’t constantly showcase his talent – he just goes out to every practice and works hard”, as well as how “when [she] first joined cross country, having Sohan as a familiar face in the team was really nice”. Coach Leslie Crais emphasized how “he [Sohan] was always such a gracious athlete – everybody liked him. You always knew he was a good kid because…he would always be so far ahead of everybody, but he was never boastful”. She remembered how “all the other teams would be lined up cheering for him, other parents, other coaches” and how “that revealed a lot about Sohan because everybody recognized what a sweet, humble kid he was”. She laughed while speaking about what an amazing runner Sohan is and how “he always made it look so easy”.
To sum it up, I think Coach Jack Gallop says it best: “He [Sohan] is bright, talented, and easily one of the greatest – if not the greatest – runners that Lausanne has seen in quite some time”. Sohan recently completed his final season at Lausanne, finishing seven years total of Lausanne cross country. A four-time varsity state qualifier, a three-time varsity regional champion, and a nominee for the Commercial Appeal’s 2018 Runner of the Year, Sohan is certainly leaving behind some big shoes to fill. Yet his skill, modesty, positivity and support has left an unforgettable impact on our team that will undoubtedly help us improve every step we take in the future (literally). From the very bottom of our hearts, Sohan (Race-han) (Fast-han), we are so grateful to have had a legend like you represent the Lausanne cross country team. Each and every one of us will miss you so so so much; best of luck in the future, wherever it takes you – your team here at Lausanne will always be cheering you on! On your marks, get set, go…