As she prepared for her first days of high school nearly three years ago, Ann Campbell was urged to take up a new sport. More specifically, Campbell’s mother wanted her to try out for the St. Teresa’s Academy cross country team.
It took some convincing.
“I was definitely reluctant,” Campbell said. “It seemed pretty hard. And I didn’t know if I would be any good.”
As it turns out, it wasn’t such a bad idea.
Campbell proved to be the fastest distance runner in the Kansas City area this fall, and she is The Star’s All-Metro girls cross country runner of the year.
Campbell enjoyed an accolade-filled junior season. She won the Kansas City Metro Championships in October by 17 seconds, won district and sectional races later that month in similar fashion, and then placed fifth at the Missouri Class 4 state meet with a time of 18 minutes and 47 seconds, the best showing among Kansas City area runners.
The success came faster than expected. In her third year as a cross country runner, Campbell kept her goals relatively simple. She wanted to win a race this season. Just one.
That took only two weeks to accomplish when she was the first runner to cross the finish line at the Lee’s Summit North Invitational. It was a sign of things to come.
“I really didn’t think I was going to win that race because there were a lot of good runners that had done well at state the year before,” Campbell said. “Winning that race, that was really exciting for me. That really kept me motivated.”
As a junior, Campbell has received interest from several colleges, but she said she plans to wait until after she completes the spring track season to make that decision.