Women’s Winter Track State Championship

By: Miranda Knowles

Four of our very own lady huskies competed at the Winter Track 4A State Championship this past Saturday. After training hard this season, they showed off their abilities at the JDL track in Winston Salem, North Carolina.

Ainsley Donovan, Ella White, Charlotte Wakefield, and Viola Korir ran the 4×800 meter relay race and finished in 16th place with a time of 10:28. “I was so nervous, but I’m so glad I got to have this experience,” Charlotte recalled. The girls were really excited to make this individual sport a team effort with the relay component of this race. They must work together to successfully pass the baton after each of them runs 800 meters.

Not only did Viola and Ainsley run in the 4×800 relay race, but they each individually competed in the 500-meter individual race. Viola finished in 20th place with an astounding time of 1:21.37. Ainsley finished right behind her in 26th place with a time of 1:23.55.

Each of these girls has worked extremely hard to earn these accomplishments. Not only do they run winter track, but they also participate in track-and-field and cross country, which is a year-long commitment. They each have a passion for running that is so strong, they have dedicated much of their time to become strong, motivated athletes.

Junior Ainsley Donovan isn’t new to running. Her mom encouraged her sister and her to be runners because she enjoys it as well. She began her running career with Girls on the Run when she was in elementary school. She has loved running ever since and began running track in 7th grade. Her passion for the sport only became stronger after these experiences, so she decided to do cross country, winter track, and spring track her freshman year. Ainsley isn’t stopping there. “For the upcoming spring track season, I want to beat my personal record. I plan on pursuing running competitively in college,” she explains. With the combination of her natural talent and desire to accomplish her goals, she is well on her way to pursuing her goals.

Sophomore Ella White has a lot that she wants to accomplish before she graduates. After watching her mom take a deep interest in the sport, she decided to follow suit. Ella started running in eighth grade and joined the Heritage Cross Country team in ninth grade. She made great progress and after a lot of hard work, has become an incredible athlete. This quickly became her favorite high school extracurricular activity. “My love for running and the supportive team environment always keeps me motivated,” Ella explains.

Junior Viola Korir enjoys running because it challenges her to get to the next level; “when running I don’t think about anything else, and just trust the process,” she states. Viola found her love for running when she was very young and would jog to school. As soon as she was old enough, she competed through her school track team to continue challenging herself every day. Viola found a great love for competing in races and explains, “that moment right after you finish the race makes it all worth it. It’s a showcase of the hard work and effort that goes into this sport.”

Junior Charlotte Wakefield first became interested in running when she ran in her elementary and middle-school pacer tests. This quickly translated into a passion for running, which inspired her to begin track in 7th grade. She really enjoyed running in the meets and practicing with her team as they all pushed one another. Charlotte decided to continue running consistently by joining cross country, winter track, and spring track. After reflecting on her running experiences Charlotte explains, “I may not always want to put in the work, but then I remember how great it feels to PR, which motivates me to bring my best.”

These girls deserve to be recognized after years of hard work and dedication to running. Aside from qualifying for state, they are 3x back-to-back XC Girls Conference champions. And guess what? They aren’t done yet. Spring track is just around the corner and they are all very excited to accomplish their personal and team goals. We’re so proud of these ladies for representing our school so well!

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