Troy Maksymetz

Age: 17

School: Gulf Coast High School

Sports: Cross-country and track

“I was in ROTC and we had to run the mile. I was running with a friend and he was like, ‘dude, you did really good, you should come out for cross-country.’ I went in not really knowing what it was but I really like it.”

“Most people wouldn’t know that there’s a real team aspect to cross-country but there is. At the end of the day you’re running with your teammate, both trying to get the best times you can. I like track, but I like cross-country more. With track you’re running in circles”

“I hope to someday be an officer in the United States Navy. Running has really taught me discipline, which I think will be useful in the Navy. You can’t lie when you’re running, if you’re not pushing yourself your coach knows—you know.”

Rosie Poling

Age: 15

School: Lely High School

Sports: Cross-country and Irish dancing

“When I was younger, like in fourth grade, I ran in some local races and thought that was fun. My mom is a runner so I’ve always been exposed to it. I think I really like the atmosphere of the races—people are so supportive. Once I got into running cross-country it became a real love of mine.”

“Irish dancing for me is a lot of fun. It’s definitely great exercise and I’ve made a lot of friends doing it. It’s really hard—it’s both a cardiovascular workout but also takes a lot of skill, it’s like, is your toe pointed the right direction?”

“I’m not sure if I’ll run in college, I may be more into academics at that point. I really like doing science fair projects, especially about sports medicine. But I’m also really getting into environmental science and botany. I love doing research.”