Nausica Gaither helped build lacrosse at El Camino Real High

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Throughout the spring, The Times will interview high school seniors whose athletic careers were cut short by the coronavirus outbreak.

Name: Nausica Gaither

School: Woodland Hills El Camino Real

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Sport: Lacrosse

Key stats: Helped start the girls’ lacrosse program as a sophomore; three-year starter for City Section powerhouse

Fall plans: Will attend Colorado

On the impact of the cancellation of the season:

“We’d wake up at 6 a.m. and have 7 a.m. practices. We were having to compete with the football team for field time. We were putting in hours and hours of work. We had a good start. We beat the top two teams in our league. Then it just ended. It was real emotional. We all wanted to have this one last go. We were such a new program. We had been working for two years on technique, stick skills with girls who had never played lacrosse. We were a family. We were friends on the field and off the field. There was a social element we lost.”

Why she switched from basketball to lacrosse:

“Basketball wasn’t the right fit for me. It was not mentally fulfilling. It wasn’t making me happy anymore. When I was on lacrosse, I was happy and who I wanted to be. Everybody saw the real me.”

On life without sports:

“I’m getting by. I have my runs every day or play wall ball in my backyard, but it’s hard because I don’t have the continuous push of my teammates, coaches and friends and working for something bigger.”

The new things she’s discovered in her free time:

“I’ve started line dancing.”

Where she sees herself in 10 years:

“I’m going into Colorado with no real plans. I decided on a math major because I have no idea what I wanted to do. I just want to be happy.”

The lessons learned by the Class of 2020:

“To appreciate living in the moment and taking the opportunities you’re given. I think those are two big ones that I have learned.”

Video interviews of each athlete can be found at latimes.com/sports/highschool.

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