When he quit cross country in 7th grade, senior Eli Fournier had lost his spark for running. It was his dad who pushed him to gain strength and endurance in high school.
December of 2016 became an emotional battleground after losing his best friend, Stephen Rathbun and father, Jon Fournier.
“Losing my dad made everything different,” Fournier said. “I lost my number one supporter and my best friend.”
Fournier learned to endure the pain while moving forward.
Participating with his dad, Fournier eventually reached the highest level awarded. Although learning from the experience, he had to close that chapter of his life after maxing out at age 18.
“The award shaped my character a lot,” Fournier said.
After learning vital skills for both survival and character awareness, Fournier made personal growth that’ll guide him throughout life.
“[My dad] told me once that he was a boy scout, made it to life scout (award before eagle scout),” Fournier said. “He quit and later regretted his choice, so he wasn’t going to let me quit like he did.”
Being his dad’s “mini me,” Fournier followed in his image, not giving up on his cross country team either. With his senior year coming to a close, Fournier gave back, encouraging the underclassmen.
With freshman Jocelyn Hendricks qualifying for state this season, Fournier didn’t stop his efforts to help.
“Give her time and let’s see where she goes,” Fournier said. “I get motivated to run for them [dad and Stephen], it gives me incentive to make them proud.”
Fournier continued to run even after his personal season ended, keeping his dad and Stephen as his driving force.
After high school, Fournier will continue to live by the words he’d say before every meet, “‘All that is necessary for evil to succeed or triumph is for good men to do nothing.’”