PROSPERITY — Mid-Carolina High School senior Kori Kunkle signed a letter of intent to run track at Columbia College.
Kunkle is in her sixth year of running, first starting in seventh grade.
“I used to play softball and everybody told me I was fast. I tried it and I started off doing distance and throughout time I started doing sprints,” said Kunkle.
Like any student-athlete, balancing academics and sports can also pose a challenge. For Kunkle, that means doing homework after practices and squeezing in time to study on the weekends.
“Getting conditioned and maintaining speed is hard. To get really conditioned, you’re supposed to do it all year, so it’s hard to stay that way,” said Kunkle
At Columbia College, Kunkle said that she is undecided as to what she wants to major in, but is possibly thinking about majoring in business.
“Me and my sister Alex are going to own a dress store, so I’ll probably major in business with an emphasis in digital media, so I might do that part of it,” said Kunkle.
When it came to choosing Columbia College, Kunkle said that after being approached by them and taking a tour, it was the small campus that ultimately helped her choose the school.
For Kunkle’s parents Katherine and Billy Kunkle, they are both excited to see what the future holds for their daughter.
“It feels great. I went to a small school, too. I like the student to teacher ratio and I just think she’ll do better in a smaller environment as opposed to a big university campus,” said Katherine. “I’ve never missed a track meet except Upper State. I just try to work around the schedule the best I can and bust my tail to get there.”
For Columbia College track coach Travis Nichols, interest was initially sparked after watching meets that Kunkle has participated in and seeing her speed.
“Once you get to know an athlete, I think what we look for most is a well-rounded individual and she is that. She’s really talented in the classroom and on the track as well, but she brings a certain leadership quality that I think makes her unique from the other girls we were looking at,” said Nichols. “She’s driven, motivated and she does a lot of that on her own, so that, I think is what really sold us on her.”
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.