On December 1, an extraordinary thing happened for one of the students at Peekskill High School. Chelsea Ogindo, a freshman at PHS, ran in the AAU Cross-Country Nationals in Rock Hill, South Carolina. As well as maintaining a high GPA and getting involved in her school and community, Chelsea is part of a track club called the Westchester Striders. This club includes kids from Cortlandt, Ossining, Putnam Valley, and just a few from Peekskill.
To get into this race, Chelsea had to run in district qualifiers. She ran against other people from the Metropolitan District, which are people from places such as Queens, the Bronx, Long Island, and Yonkers. Onceshe qualified, the journey began. It was a 12- hour trip, but according to Chelsea, it was all worth it. She said that the race was not only fun, but a great experience.
Chelsea was racing against kids from all over the country. The AAU Cross-Country nationals hold races for runners ranging anywhere from 7 to 20 years old. The race she ran in was a 4K race (2.5 miles). She came in 6th place out of 186 runners. She said that this was the most memorable part of her experience, standing on the podium. When speaking about how she felt to come in 6th place and stand up on the podium, she said, “It felt amazing, because I beat this girl who beat me all season! I felt like my coach was really happy for me. It was nice to finally get a personal best after a whole year.”
Chelsea runs track for the Striders as well as the PHS Track team. She is a hard worker and a determined person. Her favorite part of running is, “The pain you get in the middle of a run, because you feel like you’re getting better and you’re almost there.” She also likes the medals and trophies as well as success.
Chelsea has been running track for three year. “I’m a runner who is very motivated and has a wide range and I feel that that has helped me very much in my success in track," she said. "I feel like I can go places in this sport.” Chelsea plans on continuing track, as she feels that it has become an important part of her life. She hopes to qualify for the AAU Cross Country Nationals again next year and do just as well, if not better.