Lancer of the Week: Khelsa Connolly puts her feet first

Connolly runs the 5K at the South Hagerstown Rebel invitational.

courtesy of Logan Moore

Connolly runs the 5K at the South Hagerstown Rebel invitational.

by Beau Cameron, Co-Editor in chief

Khelsa Connolly is a star member of the varsity girls cross country and track and field teams. She has been a varsity runner throughout her entire high school career and will continue throughout her senior year.

Connolly specializes in the 3 mile (record: 20:38), 800 meter (record: 2:45), and 5,000 meter (record: 21:13) runs. However, she has excelled in all track based competitions.

Coach David Bly said, “Khelsa is very driven. She leads by example and doesn’t take any shortcuts no matter what. She’s one of the most hardworking individuals I’ve ever coached. Her desire to do great in every aspect of her life is why she’s having and will have so much success.”

Out of over 6,500 athletes, Connolly is ranked 66th in the state of Maryland. She is also ranked 16th in Frederick County. In the team’s recent competition at the CMC Championships on October 20th, Connolly placed 6th in the varsity 3-mile and set a new personal record of 20:38. Connolly has competed in a total of six events this season, and placed in the top 50 for each.

Class of 2018 and teammate Emily Webb said, “Khelsa holds the team together. We wouldn’t be here without her.”

Although Connolly doesn’t know what college she will be attending, she hopes to continue track and field. She has decided to study to become a midwife. “I just see so many cases of mothers not receiving the proper pre-natal care,” said Connolly.

Meghan Martin, long-time friend of Connolly, said, “Khelsa would be perfect as a midwife. She’s definitely competitive in track, but she’s always helping others and encouraging them to do their best.”

The most important thing in Connolly’s life is her family. Her siblings, Linganore graduates Kylan and Cassia Connolly, are both accomplished members of the arts communities. Kylan is studying architecture at Pratt Institute, while Cassia studies at theatre at UMBC.

Cassia said, “Khelsa is the kind of person who is so intensely focused on what makes her happy that she always finds success. Even in her failures, she finds motivation to do better. She’s also very attentive and has a natural ability to offer care to people in need.”

Outside of track, Connolly focuses mostly on caring for her animals. Her family lives on a farm, and she personally cares for four goats, one pig, two dogs and a cat. Her greatest concern at the moment is how she’ll smuggle them into college with her.

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