Rylee Smith is a 14 year old Distance Runner for Los Alamitos High School Cross Country and Track teams. With her first official Cross Country season behind her, Rylee was able to transition from being a swimmer for over two years for Seal Beach Swim Club into a distance runner with ease. Rylee had taken up a love for distance running early this year and it was the factor that lead her to run for the Los Alamitos high school team. With her being a freshman this year, she had the opportunity to join the swim team to test her ability and decided to focus on Cross Country.
When Rylee started our program last year in August, I noticed that there was an issue with her posture due to limited axial loading from being in the water for over two years. This led to her starting a rehabilitation program with a chiropractor that worked with helping improve her posture and has been able to walk with an upright posture recently. Having an upright posture is very crucial for improving cardiovascular endurance in distance runners. With the her 5k time improving by more than 3 minutes, working with a chiropractor and the training she has been doing helped her gain more confidence on the course, as well as helping her in school to excel in the class room and with new friends. As some of us may know that making new friends in high school could be somewhat difficult.
Every athlete has to commit to reaching their goals physically and mentally. With the mental focus and confidence that Rylee has developed during her training and on the course has motivated herself to reach a half mile in 2:30 minutes, 6 minute mile, 15:36 minute 2mile and 23 minute 3mile within the next year. I have noticed that Rylee has the ability to digest information and use it to help her become successful on her team. She has the mental drive to become a Varsity member well before her senior year and the team spirit to encourage of teammates to do the same. Here at Champion’s QUEST we are dedicated to providing our athletes the best coaching for their needs and the platform to reach their goals. When we work with athletes like Rylee that are driven and self motivated it not only is a vision of our leaders in youth sports, it challenges us mentally to provide a well developed program for that athlete.
In this past year, Rylee has worked exclusively with myself to increase her strength, stamina, and improve her core stability. I have noticed a big change in her work ethic once she changed her focus from swim to distance running. With her growth and increased stamina she will have much to look forward to in the Spring as she gets ready for the Track season. She has a lot to give back to her team and will be a strong member of the Los Alamitos team for the next four years.
By Coach Derrick Campbell