Kaitlyn Vanderkolk, daughter of Kevin and Colleen Vanderkolk, is this week’s Athlete of the Week.
She is a junior at Brentwood High School and a member of the Cross Country Team. This season, she placed 12th at State and helped lead the girls team to runner up at State. She also achieved a person best of 18:24 at the Wingfoot Invitational in Georgia.
Vanderkolk said she started running as a cross training sport for swimming, which was her main focus. She said she realized, though, that running was her true passion and decided to seriously pursue it.
When asked what inspires her to continue training and competing she said, “I am very competitive and race days are a fun challenge. I love training with my teammates who have become some of my best friends.”
BHS Cross Country Coach Rob Pautienus said of Vanderkolk, “Kaitlyn has been one of the key leaders on the girls’ team that has helped us have such a strong season. She has been consistent in her races, and had some big improvements in her times over last year. She almost broke the school record at Wingfoot in Georgia.”
Vanderkolk said her mother is her biggest role model. She admires her for her hard working and supportive attitude.
When she’s not running, Vanderkolk enjoys swimming, water skiing, wake surfing, and spending time with her friends, family and dog.
After graduating, she hopes to continue her running career in college. She is currently undecided as to where she will attend.