For Lou Cavalier, running is a big factor in his life. And along with that comes some of his racing staples…like a yellow headband.

Lou officially started racing in sixth grade. He continued in high school and ran for Moraine Valley the last two seasons. Although he credits his parents for being his motivation as well as his biggest supporters, his team has been like family as well.

“I look at the team as a second family. I’m with them more than some of my family members. Coach Dimitri is like my second dad,” he said. “Seeing everyone as family and competing at the college level and staying healthy, that’s the best part about running cross country.”

In every race he’s run in the last four years, spectators may notice the yellow headband he consistently makes a part of his wardrobe. In his junior year of high school at Sandburg, two of his closest friends (brothers) on the cross country team lost all four grandparents within two weeks. The coach gave out yellow headbands to all the runners in a show of support and to remain strong while racing. When Lou wore that headband in the Reavis Invitational, he took first place—his first top finish overall in high school. After that, he had to race with it on for himself and as a tribute to his friends.

Aside from his headband, Lou wears the same socks for each race…ever since he was one of four runners from the Cyclone men’s team who ran at the NJCAA Division I Men’s Cross Country Championships in the 2016 season. He continued both habits throughout college, including his last run with the Cyclones at nationals this past season.