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Leading the pack

Leading the pack

It is cold, but not too cold.

Dew resides on the tips of each blade of grass. The orange, red, and yellow tints in the sky start to become more distinct as the new day sets forth. It is a Saturday morning around 5 a.m. Most high school students are in bed sound asleep, but Kelly Meehleib is out doing the one thing she loves most, running.

“It is good to clear my mind and have that start in my day. It makes me proud to say I can get up early to run when nobody else would want to,” said Meehlieb.

Most people have trouble getting up at 5 a.m., let alone to run mile upon mile. But that does not phase Meehlieb.

“When you really want to accomplish something those things don’t matter,” said Meehlieb. “It doesn’t matter that you have to wake up early in the morning or that you have to stay after school for an extra two hours, because if you know you want something, and you know you love it, it shouldn’t make a difference.”

Running is no easy task, It not only takes physical strength, but also mental strength. If one does not put in the extra time then they will not succeed.

“I may not always want to run, but I know that what I put in is what I will get out. That is what pushes me to keep going no matter what,” said Meehlieb.

Despite any doubts Meehlieb has, she always finds a way to push through and keep running.  She tries to go into each meet with no expectations and to just do what she loves to do.

“Running is one of the most simple things someone can do, but yet It can also be one of the most complicated things,” said Meehlieb

Meehlieb recently placed sixth out of around 320 runners at the Peoria cross country meet. Doing so, she not only set a school record, but also a personal record. At this meet in previous years she placed once in the 30s and once in the 80s. So placing sixth was a big deal to her.

“This meet was similar to a state meet because it was held at the same place, so it had a very competitive vibe,” said Meehlieb.

Meehlieb longs to qualify for state which would bring her to Peoria once again. She would love to go to state for cross country and track.

“It’s a hard thing to qualify for; there are so many runners, so many standards, and times that would need to be beat. I hope that this is the year I can accomplish that, but if not then as long as I know I tried my best, that’s all I can ask for,” said Meehlieb.

So when it is 4:45 and her alarm goes off, do not expect her to hit the snooze button. She may not want to get out of bed to run, but the thought of going down to state pushes her to keep on going despite the challenges she may face along the way. With Meehlieb’s work ethic and determination, she will be leading the pack in no time.

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