Athlete of the Issue: Stanislas Robert


Tyler Weisberg ’22 for The Circle Voice

As the first pack of runners closes in on the finish, the towering form of Stanislas Robert ’22 charges through the final stretch of the race. A dedicated runner and captain, Stanislas has served as an inspiring and hardworking leader for the rest of his team. “We came here to win! We run as a team and we win as a team!” Stanislas can often be heard before races sharing his energy, screaming, looking to spark the rest of the team. As Stanislas heads into his last season running at Groton, he looks forward to leading the team at New England and ISL Championships. 


What prompted you to first join the cross country program here at Groton?

I remember running with Mr. Capen and the XC team during my revisit day before my 4th form year. Mr. Capen’s poodle April (or “ape-dog”), the team mascot, came along. Cross country at Groton was totally different than that of my old school. Since that first run, I was hooked by the friendliness and welcoming spirit of the team.  


What is your most memorable Groton cross country moment? 

Every year, we drive up to Coach Capen’s house in Acadia, Maine for “pre-pre-season.” My most memorable experiences with XC are in Maine: swimming in the freezing ocean at sunset, eating the lobster we grilled on the beach, and running 15 miles up and around a mountain. At night, we would be grateful to get a few hours of sleep in Mr. Capen’s living room before he would wake us up at 7 a.m. by blasting some Earth, Wind, and Fire. My second favorite memory is getting sick from eating too many running energy gels. 


What important lessons have you learned from cross country?  

Endurance. Pacing is key and I feel these values of pushing through reflected in my school work too. On longer runs (which we call LSD—Long Slow Distance), I have developed the skill of blurring out thoughts and just focusing on the rhythm of my breathing and my strides. For papers or research projects, I can zone into my work and ignore all distractions. I also run to de-stress after tiring school days.  


What is one race or cross country moment that is particularly special to you? 

Our race at St. Mark’s last weekend, where we secured the top three places in Varsity and the top nine places in JV out of four schools, was particularly special. Not only did we sweep our rival school, St. Mark’s, but many of us also beat our personal records. I was proud to see my teammates improve to such an extent. The ride back in the bus was festive! 


What have you enjoyed so far this season and what do you look forward to for your team?

XC is not affected by the masks indoors protocols, so we are lucky to have an almost-normal season. We also have the largest Boys Cross Country team in Groton history, with 43 members and six coaches! With ISL championships coming up in a few weeks and many victories already, we are aiming to get in the top three for Varsity and in the top two for JV. As captain, I want to lead my team to these results, see personal improvement in every runner and get a sub:17:40 minute 5K!