Herriman • It was a nearly year ago that Herriman’s Kaysha Love, then a freshman, erupted onto the scene in her first season running track.
She had spent much of her life as a top-flight gymnast but had outgrown the sport she loved. She switched to track and field, and in her first season sprinted to two individual Class 4A titles at the state meet, announcing her arrival as one of the fastest girls in the state.
A closer look
Herriman sophomore Kaysha Love and junior Lucy Biles are among the top 100 prep athletes in the country this outdoor season in their respective events, according to www.athletic.net:
Event Time Date Rank
100 12.11 March 28 T67
200 25.08 March 28 T65th
Event Time Date Rank
1,600 4:54.16 March 28 8th
3,200 10:37.98 March 28 18th
The Mustangs’ other girls’ track star, distance-runner Lucy Biles, remembers how it felt. Relaxing in a chair in the Herriman coaches’ office before a weekday practice, she chuckles at the memory while Love sits beside her and smiles.
"I was really jealous that she was getting all the attention," said Biles, who won three individual state titles last year and already was well on her way to establishing herself as the best cross-country runner in the state.
But then the Mustangs, with Love’s help, won the girls’ Class 4A team state title. Biles felt the pride well inside of her, and the emotion was greater than anything she’d felt after her individual accomplishments. It was then she finally understood how valuable Love’s success was.
"I didn’t think we were going to be able to win as a team," said Biles. "But that was so much better than anything else. All the individual titles I have don’t compare. I realized it was a team game."
The two runners have become close in the months since last year’s state meet as they have realized they’re not so different. Biles, who is a junior and the more experienced runner, has become a mentor to Love and shown her how top-level track athletes can push themselves beyond their limits.
"I love being the role model because I think it makes me better," Biles said. "I don’t want to let people down."
For her part, Love understands how fortunate she is to be learning from a runner with Biles’ credentials.
"I look up to Lucy so much," Love said. "She’s such an inspiration to me. She shows you can overwork your body and hit your goals. She never takes time off."
Beyond their similar talent, the paths Biles and Love took to becoming top-level runners also has much in common. Neither dreamed of being a track star, as Love grew up a gymnast, while Biles was a speedskater. But both quickly grew to love running after converting to the sport.
And for both girls, that love has fueled uncommon work ethics, which in turn has allowed them to become elite and establish themselves among the top athletes in the state.
"They have the crazy work ethic, where in the summer they’re in there lifting," Herriman track coach Jonathan Haag said. "They’re doing all the extra little stuff. They have the work ethic and the insane talent. When those meet, all of a sudden, that’s the nationally ranked athlete."
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