Posted at: 10/31/2012 10:06 PM
Updated at: 11/01/2012 7:06 PM
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A lot of us can thank a loved one for introducing us to our favorite sport, and Chatfield cross country star Kayla Woltz is no different.
"We have an elementary program, and I remember my mom said something to me about it when I was a fourth grader, so I did it fourth, fifth and sixth," Woltz said. "I liked it, so I joined the high school team (as a seventh grader), and it worked for me."
To say the least.
Woltz has been to the state meet five straight years, and she didn't get there on talent alone.
"Obviously, Kayla has a lot of natural running ability, but what sets her apart and what polishes that is her tremendous work ethic," Chatfield coach Chris Frye said. "She puts in the miles over the summer. She does what she needs to do on weekends, even through the season. Tremendous dedication and tremendous sacrafice."
"I kind of had to learn how to drive myself, but now it's apart of who I am," Woltz said.
It's what helped her finish second at the Section 1A meet last week. Woltz finished just a few seconds behind winner Emi Trost from Cannon Falls.
"For a few years, I was ahead of her, and over the last year, she's been ahead of me, so it's a good rivalry," Woltz said.
The state meet is this Saturday, and Woltz would love to come home with a state title, but that's not her only goal.
"There's a time goal, too," Woltz said. "We'll just see what happens and I'll do my best."