|Rock Hill Striders||
- 2017 Fort Mill High School graduate
- Running Experience: 6 years Cross Country; 4 years Track & Field
- Personal Best(s): 5k- 20:00; 1600m – 5:59; 800m – 2:30; 400m – 0:62
- Additional info: Ania plays the violin, viola, piano, and guitar in her free time and has been the music leader during the Vacation Bible School at her church for the past 4 summers.
- Honors: Outstanding Young Runner Award (2001 & 2012); Yellow Jacket Award XC (2014); XC Coaches Award (2016); Overall Track MVP (2014 & 2015)
- Will run cross country and track at St. Bonaventure University this fall.
- In her own words:
“Since I could walk, I wanted to be a soccer player. I didn’t want to fall in love with running; I had no plans to run 3.1 miles after nothing, just a finish line. But boy, I was wrong.
I started running for Fort Mill High in the seventh grade and little to my knowledge, that year I became a runner. I ran my first race on the JV team because my coach wanted me to taste how it feels to win, and ever since I’ve been a varsity runner…
My junior year started and I thought life was going great. I felt like I was finally getting somewhere with my running and all my times. The pain in my shin started bothering me in the middle of the cross country season. I honestly thought it was just shin splints, so I kept running. The team needed me and I knew in a month the season would end, only then would I rest and heal. The Tuesday before our State Race we had a workout, running hill repeats on the Greenway. On the third lap I finished in tears and far behind the other girls I was normally in front of. The coaches pulled me aside and convinced me to stop for the day. When my dad came to pick me up, they talked to him without me, knowing I would minimize the situation. I was sent to the urgent care, put on crutches and pulled out of the state race. My x-rays showed nothing and I was still convinced the pains were just shin splints. I went to therapy for months and stayed away from running. I went through two months of dry needling and I was finally cleared by my therapist to run. I ran on turf, but I still felt something wrong. After a month, I was sent to get an MRI. I had two stress fractures in my right tibia. I was immediately put into a boot and was told I would have it for eight weeks. I sat helpless as I watched my junior year track season and all my hope of running in college slip away.
When I was finally able to run, the beloved coach who left after my first year, came back. He reminded me to take it slow and not push myself. He just wanted me to be healthy and enjoy the sport again. I listened to him and worked everyday to be patient with myself. I made varsity in the end of the XC season. I just finished my senior track season with some decent times, no PR’s but I really can’t complain. Walking around with a boot on my leg for 8 weeks, on top of not running for 9 months taught me a lot. I learned what it means to be patient with yourself and I also learned that sometimes you have to take a step back. My new track coach keeps reminding me that setback leaves a path for a greater comeback.
Now I think it is safe to say that my comeback is going pretty great. In December I committed to St. Bonaventure University, a D1 school, to run both XC and Track. I couldn't be more excited.
Running taught me so many life lessons I wouldn’t have learned any other way. I learned it’s a good thing to be different and stand out from the crowd. I learned how to be patient with myself. I learned that I was more than just a little runner. If you really put your mind to something, then nothing, not even broken bones, can stand in your way. Running taught me everything I thought I already knew, but running in circles somehow made the head knowledge turn into heart knowledge. That is what I am most thankful for.
I fell in love with running when I was twelve and I plan on staying in love for the rest of my life.”
- 2017 Clover High School graduate
- Running Experience: 4 years Cross Country; 6 years Track & Field
- Personal Best(s):3200m=9:47; 1600m= 4:31
- Honors: 6 County/Region Championships, All-State in the 3200m, All-State in Cross Country, 2 x Reigning York County Runner of the Year, School Records in the 3200m, Distance Melody, & 4x1600; 2 x winner of the Rock Hill Striders Mill Stone Loop 10 mile race
- Will run cross country and track at Anderson University this fall.
- In his own words:
“My high school career has been filled with ups and downs with my all-time low coming freshman year during state qualifier when I had to pull out due to an injury. This injury that occurred was the single greatest moment of my life it changed me from just a kid running to hang out with his friends to the runner I am today. After that day at Dorman High School freshman year I started a rigorous training regiment that included two a days four to five days a week during the summer and 70+ miles a week as a sophomore. In the course of one year I transformed myself from a 17:59 guy to a 16:07 guy sophomore cross country season and in track that year I secured my first county and region title winning the 1600 m at both meets. Running didn’t just change the way that I performed on the course and the track, but also in the classroom and making me a better overall human being. The new found work ethic that I had found in running translated to the classroom where I have been a principal’s scholar every nine weeks since sophomore year. Having track and cross country has transformed my life for the better in every aspect of my life, which has motivated me to pursue a career in physical education and coaching after college so that I can give a small portion of my knowledge and commitment back to the sport that has given me so much. I want to use this scholarship to help me reach my goal of being able to help use running touch the lives of young people the way that running has touched mine.”