Kech overcomes injuries, sprints straight to success

Kech+overcomes+injuries%2C+sprints+straight+to+success

Junior Emily Kech (middle) kicked off the season with a sixth place overall finish in the two mile race at the Cy Ridge meet. She placed fifth in varsity girls 5k and will go on to participate in regionals.

Madeline Brisson, Sports Editor

Whether in cross country or track season, conflicts continuously arose that kept junior Emily Kech from participating in meets. Between two left tibia fractures, one right tibia fracture and bouts of illness, Kech watched from the sidelines for the first two years of her high school career. This year, Kech has managed to earn and maintain a position on the cross country squad.

“This year is the first year I’ve been able to train an entire season,” Kech said. “Usually I just train over the summer and then I end up missing all the meets. I’ve been trying harder than I have [in the past] because it’s not as encouraging when you start running later and you know that everyone has had more time than you.”

In her first full season without injuries, Kech has earned a top spot in every meet.

“Emily is one of the most dedicated athletes that I have seen,” Girls cross country coach Dana Mathis said. “She is at practice every day no matter if she is sick, it is raining, or it is cold.  She is also the team mate that makes sure that everyone else is giving all they have for the program.”

Alhough she lost two seasons, Kech does not feel this is a disadvantage to her.

“In a way, I almost feel like I have an advantage,” Kech said. “A lot of people talk about how they want running to be over because they’re tired of it, but since I haven’t been able to do a whole season, I’m always, in the back of my mind, excited that I’m running, because the only thing worse than running is not running.”

Kech, along with fellow varsity runner and junior Ali Radvansky, started running in cross country during the summers in junior high at high school camps.

“I think starting early and having more experience helped us get ahead of a lot of runners our age and prepared us for what we were about to get in to,” Radvansky said.

Injury after injury, Kech never failed to return to her training after a recovery.

“I’ve been [running] for so long so I’ve been wanting to get a result out of it or accomplish something,” Kech said. “Every time I’d get injured I would tell myself next season would be better.”

Along with each new season, came new changes in leadership. In the three years that Kech has been a part of cross country, the girl’s team has had two different coaches before coach Mathis.

“I like coach Mathis now because she’s very motivating and very encouraging,” Kech said. “I think it’s different having a girl coach because she is more peppy.”

Despite Mathis’ short time with the team, she believes she has seen improvement in Kech.

“She continues to improve as the season goes on,” Mathis said. “I expect that she will run her best times at district and the meets that follow.”

Her fellow runners also notice the growth that Kech has achieved.

“Over the years, I have seen Emily improve in many ways,” Radvansky said. “Mainly, I’ve seen her fight and competitiveness grow the most. She pushes herself to her limits everyday to be the best runner for Cinco.”

This year, Kech believes the team could make it as far as State.

“I see us going to Regionals, because we’ve done it every year since the school opened and so I don’t think this year is going to be any different,” Kech said. “I think we could go to State if we really pulled it together because our team last year didn’t think we could do anything and then we ended up almost making it to State.”

Mathis shares the confidence Kech feels about the team’s goals for state.

“I believe that Emily can achieve whatever she sets her mind too,” Mathis said. “Her goal at the beginning of the year was to get her team to state. I believe this is attainable and Emily will do everything needed to fulfill this goal.”