What do you do with a kid who can do it all?
That is a dilemma most track and field coaches would love to have to face, and it is one challenge West Holmes Middle School track star Katie Sprang has presented her coaching staff.
The young star began as a distance runner, but according to West Holmes junior high track coach Gretchen Acker, she also is the fastest girl on the team. While she ran the 1600 most of last season, this year’s events led her into the 800, where she proved she can be every bit as lethal.
A season of high hopes soon led her all the way to the Ohio Middle School state track and field meet, the inaugural one of its kind in Ohio, and she wasted little time in climbing atop the podium to celebrate her accomplishments, having placed seventh in the state in the 800.
“She is the real deal,” Acker said. “She is a gamer, and she does not like to lose. She is incredibly smart and pays attention to what is going on. She listens and really wants to learn all she can to become the best.”
Seeded 12th going into the state meet at 2:30.89, Sprang took seventh with a time of 2:22.95, a time that is a personal best and new West Holmes Middle School record.
Unlike the high school state meet, there are no divisions at the middle school state level, so all of the schools compete against each other, regardless of the size of the school.
Already setting records, Acker said there is a lot of gas left in the tank of this up-and-comer.
Acker said Sprang’s strength will be the 800. “Her turnover is really quick, and while she can run anything, she is built like an 800 kid,” Acker said. She compared her size and stamina to that of All-Ohioan Hannah Clark, noting that while Clark’s strides were longer, Sprang’s turnover is quicker.
Sprang also competed at state in the 400, where she placed in the top 15.
“She is going to be so much fun to watch as her career progresses,” Acker said of Sprang. “I am thrilled that she was able to experience state, and I know that it is only going to drive her even harder to be the best she can be, no matter what event she is running.”