A small city right outside of Pensacola, is home to a family of runners that have and are continuing to leave their mark on the FL high school running community. Haley Kling is a Senior at Pace High School in Pace, FL and has committed to run for Lipscomb University in the fall of 2017.
Kling, who has had six coaches in her young running career, is gearing up for her last high school season as she is expecting big things after a full offseason of training. She quit playing soccer this year, in hopes of reaching her full potential with her main goal to make it to the State Finals in the 1600 meter, while competing in the "Region of Death". Haley Kling's mother Kelly, sprinted for Rice University and was a state champion in Arizona in the 200 and 400 her senior year of high school. Haley can thank her mother for the "fast genes" and determination to becoming one of the best 1600 meter runners in the Florida Panhandle. According to Kelly Kling, "Haley is a competitor and just needs something to fuel her fire." Last year at the Region 1-3A meet, Kling finished in fifth-place in the 1600 missing out on a trip to Jacksonville by one spot. This seems like all the fuel Haley needs to finish her high school career off on a good note.
As most athletes know, success doesn't come without adversity, and for Kling she has had her fair share of it. She has managed to stay pretty healthy through her career, but the lack of running partners and multiple coaches has definitely impacted Kling. She is looking forward to her senior season with her teammates and then onto graduation, before heading up to Nashville in the fall. Haley is eager to see how much improvement she can make at Lipscomb with their amazing coaching staff and talented teammates.
What was your most memorable race/moment?
My most memorable race was when I stepped on the metal rail inside of lane 1 on the last curve of my regional 1600m race and tripped/almost fell, but still ran my fastest time.
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
For the last four years, Fort Walton Beach, Pine Forest, and Niceville all have had good competitors in track and cross country.
**Individually, the mental challenges of running would have to be my biggest competition; they are what push me to be competitive with not only other runners on the track, but also with myself.
What was your greatest accomplishment?
The 4X800m race at regionals with my big sister, Rachel, was one of my greatest accomplishments because not many people can say that they broke a school record with their sister!
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
Training alone in the off season after my sister graduated was a mental burden that was hard to overcome, and I didn't realize how lucky I was to have her as a running buddy until after she had graduated. Another difficult obstacle was having three coaches in my four years of cross country.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss all the friendships and adventure runs, but I am also looking forward to all the new ones in college.
What advice you would give to younger athletes?
To run with joy and passion, and like my coach once told me, "dare to be best."
What are your college plans?
I signed to run Division I cross country and track at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. I am undecided on my major, but I am considering possibly business or engineering.
Who would you like to say thank you to?
I would like to say thank you to my mom. I don't give her as much credit as she deserves, but I surely could not have accomplished my dream of collegiate running without her constant support in everything I do.