UNDERWOOD, Iowa — With the level of success Karley Larson has had at Underwood in cross country and track, you might wonder if she ever stops running.
After finishing in seventh place at the state cross country meet, the three-time state qualifier in cross country and the two-time state track qualifier is still running as she trains for the Nike Cross Nationals which take place on Sunday at Sioux Falls.
But Larson took a brief break Friday morning, only to sign a letter of commitment to Kansas State to further her already accomplished running career. The senior had narrowed her choices down to the Wildcats and Iowa State before informing the coaches at KSU of her decision Wednesday night.
“I definitely like the cross country team at Iowa State because they’re the Big 12 champs but with Kansas State, I felt more comfortable being there and around the coach,” Larson said, who will be coached by Ryun Godfrey in both cross country and track. “I just felt more relaxed, like I was supposed to be there, like this is where I want to be.”
While the Cyclones won the conference in cross country, the Wildcats were the Big 12 champions in track and field. Godfrey coaches distance for the track team and coaches both the men’s and women’s cross country team at Kansas State, a characteristic that Larson found comforting.
“It’s kind of a home feel,” Larson said. “Around all the high schools here (it’s the same coach for) boys and girls so it’s kind of a homey aspect.”
Larson expects to make the varsity squad for cross country her freshman year after examining the high school times of some of their top runners, but is less certain about what track and field will offer. At Underwood, she’ll be running the 800 in the spring for the first time.
While Larson is still deciding on distance or mid-distance in track, Godfery said they want to give her a crack at steeple chase because of her natural athletic ability.
“I’m definitely excited about running the steeple chase, that looks super fun,” Larson said. “Maybe the mile or 800, I want to try and do more mid-distance but we’ll see how that goes.”
After competing in the Heartland Regional on Sunday, Larson will set her sights on the Foot Locker Nationals in late November. With basketball season fast approaching, she sees these races as an…