I started running Cross Country in 3rd grade after seeing my friends running while attending my sister's 5th grade practices. It looked like fun though my school did not offer it. My father, who ran cross country in high school, approached my school Principal to ask if we could start a program which he granted. The only caveat my father placed on me was that I was to compete for two seasons, that it took one season to learn the sport. I ended my second season as Elementary School State Cross Country Champion and true to his word, my father, on the drive home from the meet, asked me if I still wanted to run as my two seasons were over. I said yes as it was one of the easiest decisions I have had to make. Later that year, as a 4th Grader, I qualified to compete in the Middle School State meet 3200 meter run. The rest of my middle school running career was successful with individual state championships and state records in cross country, indoor and outdoor track and 4 age group individual national champion titles however, through 3rd-6th grade, my school never had enough runners to field a scoring team.
I transferred to my current school in 7th grade and all of a sudden I was part of a high school team. That experience has allowed me to not be intimidated by those older or more experienced. That year, I was our #5 cross country runner and was able to perform well enough to help my team win our school's first High School State Cross Country team title. Later that year, at the high school state track meet, I was able to finish 3rd in 3200 meter run, earning enough points to place our team in a tie going into the final event. Our 4 x 400 relay team finished 8th to earn us a 1-point State Track & Field team title. As an 8th grader, I ran as our #4 and we were able to repeat as State Cross Country team champions. In track, as a follow-up to my 7th grade season 3rd place, I was state runner-up in the 3200 meter run and our team placed 3rd in the final standings. During my Freshman and Sophomore years we went on to place 3rd and 2nd in the Cross Country state meets.
My Junior year in cross country was my most challenging but yet, most rewarding. Gone were all my state meet teammates from the previous 4 seasons, 5 who have gone on to run at the collegiate level. We started with myself and two seniors who had never ran at state. Not enough for a team but remembering how it was not to have a team, as team Captain, I was not going to allow our two seniors, who had been with the team since their freshman year, not to experience lining up to race one time at State. I took it upon myself to recruit others to come out to try cross country and for the first half of the season we were able to line up 5 for every race. After the soccer season ended, we were able to pick up 3 more for the last quarter of the season. I was able to get all of us together outside practice for weekend runs and additional training with one goal, for them to experience toeing the line at state. A second place at our Regional meet punched our ticket to state. With all my individual and team accolades, nothing has ever compared to seeing the pride of my teammates and their parents of what they accomplished.
Attending a College Preparatory Christian School has shown me humility and the awareness of caring for the less fortunate while challenging me both mentally and spiritually. The term Student-Athlete is just not a phrase but a way of life at LCA. Academic success in the classroom is the pathway to athletic success as participation is dependent on the classroom. We are also encouraged to be active in the community to aid those who are less fortunate. It is always so rewarding to participate in these callings.
I hope to take what I have learned in the classroom and in my running to make a difference in both my community, school and team. I am looking for a school to prepare me for life after college and a running program that I can come in and contribute to. I feel that I have the talent and years of experience to make a positive team difference in not only my running abilities, but my mental toughness and demonstrated leadership.
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