VIDEO: Middletown's Riley is "WDEL HS Athlete of the Week"
Middletown track and field athlete Kalli Riley is this week's WDEL High School Athlete of the Week.
Riley has qualified for the state outdoor meet in an unusual combination of three events: The 1-mile, the 2-mile, and the pole vault.
Riley says she added the field event to her distance running to add some variety to her program.
"To go back and forth from going out to run 5 miles, and then thinking 'I'm going to go pole vault and do something else fun.' It really just gets your mind off of everything else."
Distance running is known for the stamina it takes to be successful, how does pole vaulting help when you're running for miles?
"Definitely getting your speed up when you have to get the approach and the speed. It keeps up that sprinting for the last 200 (meters) or so of the mile or the two miles. It definitely helps."
As for the distance races themselves, Kalli can be on the course for over 20 minutes depending on the race, how does she stay focused?
"I like to think of a fast paced song. Sometimes it gets me distracted. I just try to keep an eye who's in front of me and I try to gradually keep up with them, so it helps if they are a lot further ahead because that becomes a goal of mine."
Marquis Denby, who broke the state long jump record last week, competes on Middletown's men's team, and the girls' team captain says his intensity rubs off on all his teammates.
"He's a really great inspiration for everybody else because he doesn't give up, he knows what he wants, and he goes after it."
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