Nearly missed Krepel's story, but recognition comes to those who deserve it
I cover cross country for the Oklahoman and while I was fortunate enough to tell a lot of runners’ tales this past fall, I missed one story. Katie Krepel of Kingfisher was a name I knew well (and her sister Grace). But I didn’t know until after the season, when I was putting together my All-City cross country team, about the ordeal Katie had gone through. And, since she’s a senior, I wouldn’t have another chance next cross country season to write her story.
Alas, though I don’t cover track, Krepel does compete in the sport. That gave me the opportunity to write her story for the track season preview. It will be in Sunday’s sports section. If you miss it in print, I’m including it here.
It’s nice that everything worked out because Krepel deserves the recognition. She’s overcome a lot and hasn’t sought the spotlight. For now, it’s going to be on her. Likely, it will be again come state meet time in May.
Enjoy the story:
In describing Katie Krepel, Kingfisher track coach Alan Palesano offers that she’s one of the hardest workers he’s ever coached.
A compliment of high measure to be sure. Then again, Krepel’s not hard to find words for — best, brightest, toughest, bravest would all have been as accurate.
Krepel, a senior distance runner, heads into the track season as one of the favorites to win a Class 3A championship in as many as four events. A year ago, the 18-year old finished third in the 800 meters, 1,600 meters and 3,200 meter relay at the state meet. Krepel also runs the 3,200.
She has a chance to better those finishes this season. Which stands to reason, seeing as how it won’t take what Krepel considers a miracle for her to run well this time around.
“Going into the meet last year, I was not in the shape that I had been the previous year by all means,” Krepel said. “I just kind of gave it to God because I knew I couldn’t do what I had done the year before.
“When I finished it was kind of a miracle what I had done. I couldn’t have run the way I did by myself.”
Krepel’s miracle was being able to compete at her highest level just a few months removed from an appendix rupture that became life threatening and required major surgery.
“I ran just a half second off of my career best time,” Krepel said of posting a 5:27 in the mile. “I just couldn’t believe that because when I was in the hospital and when I started slowly running again, I started wondering whether I would be able to get back to the level I was at before.”
Krepel, also a cross country standout, had her first signs of trouble during the state championship cross country meet in October of her junior year.
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