Kaitlyn Childress started running 5Ks and eventually became addicted to running.
The Cedar Park freshman set a pair of personal best times at the State Track & Field meet Friday, finishing fourth in the 3200-meter run with a time of 10:53.55 and taking sixth in the 1600-meter run after finishing in 5:11.08.
“I have an encouraging coach and team and it’s just fun for me,” Childress said. “It’s just an honor to be here. It’s nice to have so many people supporting me. I think because it’s so physically hard, it gives me the confidence to do a lot of other things.”
Her time in the 3200-meter run set a new Cedar Park school record and was almost 15 seconds faster than the time she qualified with.
Childress was firmly in fourth place the entire racer. Her first lap (1:17.911) and her last lap (1:16.849) were her fastest two laps in the eight-lap race.
“She broke the school record, set a personal record and finished fourth and when you say all those things, it’s kind of hard to be disappointed,” Cedar Park head coach Jason Grennier said after the 3200-meter run. “The two-mile is like a chess match, she just hasn’t played chess very much. The more experience she gets, the better she’s going to get at it.”
In the 1600-meter run, Childress bested her qualifying time with by more than half a second. For the second time at the meet, she started the race strong and ran her fastest lap on the first leg (1:13.176).
McKinney North sophomore London Culbreath won gold in both events for the second straight year and finished a little over two seconds behind Rouse’s Madie Boreman 1600-meter Conference 5A record time of 4:48.16 she set in 2013.
“The pace went out a little faster than I’m used to, but it’s a big stage so that makes sense,” Childress said. “I went a little faster and just tried to race. I just want to continue to improve. Just run every day and put workout on workout.”