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GCHS seniors end careers on the track

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By Ryan Naus

Natalie Norman, Kim Simpson and Melissa McLeod spent much of their time in high school pushing themselves on the track.

The girls would run day in and day out to try to get faster, develop stamina and work to be their best whenever the starting gun would go off.

Now, they’ve graduated high school, but are still pushing themselves as they work to run in college.

“The race is not over yet,” McLeod said. “It’s nice because races never end. You can be 60 years old and still run in a marathon. Some sports you can’t compete in forever, but running lets you run forever.”

“It was such a huge part of my life in high school,” Simpson said. “I plan to keep on running in college.”

“I’m excited because I’m going to run in college and I’m excited to keep running, even though my high school career is over,” Norman said.

The girls have learned a lot during their time on the track.

“I’ve learned how to be a hard worker and being a leader on a team,” Norman said.

“Running for six years has taught me to work hard, give it my all and to never give up, which is a big one,” Simpson said.

“I figured out that the harder you work, the better you’ll get, no matter what,” McLeod said.

The girls’ favorite memories are the times they spent together running during cross country practices, when they would run to Java Jo’z or Dairy Queen and walk back to the school.

The trio also has advice for those who are looking to get better on the track.

“Be dedicated and show up to practice,” Norman said.

“Don’t take a lot of time off,” McLeod said. “If you’re taking a break, don’t take a month off. You lose a lot if you just sit around. Always run and do enough work to get better.”

“Keep running. It’s alright to have a recovery day, but keep working and don’t complain. Listen to your coach,” Simpson said.

Now, the girls have graduated from high school and are enjoying their summers before they head to college to see what new experiences lie ahead.

“We haven’t known anything else other than summer break and coming back to school, but it’s different now. I’m excited, but it’s scary,” Simpson said.

“It’s neat because it’s a whole new thing. We’re starting fresh and doing something new. I’m a little nervous about being out of high school and having that change, but I’m also excited to see what happens,” Norman said.