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A pull-up bar is fastened to Katherine Walker’s bedroom door and on her way in or out she stops to do a few. She’s up to six dead hangs. That feat is symbolic of Walker’s improved overall physical power. A year ago the Brooke Point senior couldn’t do one.

Neither could she break 20 minutes for 5K. But at Saturday’s Octoberfest Invitational in The Plains, Walker finished second in 18 minutes 11 seconds, the fastest time of her career.

“I love running. I put everything into it,” said Walker, whose time Saturday was almost two minutes faster than what she ran at Octoberfest last year. “This is what I was meant to do.”

Although Walker had found purpose in running, she had to get fit to fulfill it. So during the summer she averaged about 55 miles of training per week. She was out on the road every morning by 7.

She also mixed in push-ups, weight training, speed work and a core workout three times a week that shredded her abdominals.

“It really started at end of last track season,” 10th-year Brooke Point co-coach Tresa Jones said. “We sat down and talked about just being a little more fearless and doing the little things. She’s worked harder than I think anyone I’ve ever coached.”

Added Walker: “When I began to fall in love with [running], the little things didn’t seem like a nuisance anymore.”

The results speak for themselves. Walker didn’t make it out of the Northwest Region last year, but on Saturday she posted the fifth-fastest time of the season by a Virginia girl.

Her intensity spills over into the classroom. Walker carries a 4.48 GPA and is president of the National Honors Society at Brooke Point. She also plays flute and has taken mission trips with her church youth group into socioeconomically depressed areas of Kentucky and Philadelphia.

But nothing gives her a high quite like running. Walker won her first invitational last month and almost stole another on Saturday. She hopes to get at least another win under her belt, particularly during the postseason.

“It’s definitely there,” Walker said. “When you taste that front area, that front pack, we all want it. It just comes down to who wants it the most.”

By Carl Little  |  October 7, 2009; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  Brooke Point , Northwest Region  
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