Despite injury, best of her class

Justin Law

Despite a knee condition, Freshman Kaylee McClanahan was the first Freshmen to finish at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships on November 6th. This was her first year with the University of Southern Indiana’s Cross Country team.


McClanahan grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana to her father who was a three-sport athlete in high school and her mother, both of which whom she considers vital to her acheivements thus far. Instead of dedicating her childhood to running, she actually spent fifteen of her years participating in Dance.

“It got to a point where I had to choose between running and dancing; in the end I felt that running would pay off,” McClanahan said.

Throughout her high school Cross Country career, McClanahan always performed to the best of her abilities in everything she chose to set her mind to including the English Academic Team, numerous AP Honors courses and Cross Country.

Leading Carroll High School to a pair of sectional championships with three top ten finishes and a State Meet Championship in the 2 mile, among other achievements, McClanahan has seamlessly continued this succession well into her college experience at the University of Southern Indiana where she entered the Cross Country program with her best friend from High School.

“The successes of the team made me work even harder. It made me want to come in and help out as fast as I could,” McClanahan said in regards to joining the team.

McClanahan’s commitment and desire to put forth all of her effort in order to carry the team forward is not without sacrifice; for a leg injury has caused her not only to race differently, but with renewed enthusiasm.

“I was really proud of this race,” McClanahan said when asked about what she took from the experience, “…I would have been more aggressive, but because of my knee I had to run differently.”

When asked about those that inspire and encourage her to continue and succeed in athletics she cited not only her parents but also Seniors Heather Beard and Holly Bartelt; coach Mike Hillyard and assistant coach Tristan Mannix.

McClanahan enjoys meeting new people and living at the dormitories on campus.

“I love it here. Having the team really helps,” McClanahan said.

McClanahan is majoring in Excercise Science and intends to con Country into next season.