Thursday, March 4, 2010

Alana Hadley getting into the school spirit

Just putting the finishing touches on a story about Alana Hadley, a seventh-grader who regularly competes against -- and beats -- the majority of adult runners when she runs a local race. (The article will appear in the Charlotte Observer later this month.)

This spring, though, the 13-year-old phenom will be picking on girls her own age: If all goes according to plan, she'll be running multiple meets as a member of the Community House Middle School track team.

"I was sort of interested in it last year, when I was gonna go and do one of my workouts and [the team] happened to be finishing up track tryouts that day," says Alana, who has a 5K road PR of 17:32. "And so I was just sort of watching 'em [and thought] I’d like to do that because it involves running, which is something I love to do. So I started thinking about it. I’m like, 'Yeah, I don’t know, I have to wait till next year,' " since sixth-graders can't compete for the team.

"And then I sort of lost interest in it until ... I did the mile run for PE at the beginning of the year," says Alana, who is a 5K and 10K specialist. "I know the mile hurts, and I know that this is what I’d be doing if I do track, but it just would be sort of fun to sort of let my school know that I’m not just some seventh-grade girl -- I can run a lot."

Her father and coach, Mark Hadley, tells me Community House's athletic director Jeff Smith and the girls track coach are "thrilled that Alana wanted to run, and they figured that Alana would need to do her own workouts and not something that they directed. But she would still go to practice and do the couple-lap jog and stretching together as a team, then she would stay at practice and help the coach with the timing of the other kids. And then after practice, she’d come home and then do her normal workout with me afterward. So it was a good compromise that we were able to work out."

Mark and Alana Hadley, after the Winter Flight 8K in Salisbury, where she was the second-fastest female finisher.

Anyway, as soon as I know exactly when my profile on Alana will run, I'll let you know...

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Anonymous said...

I'm glad they worked it out so she could run for the school. She seems like a really together kid. I hope it works out with the other kids in that she really feels like part of the team and all.