Wilkins becomes first athlete from Condon to medal at state meet in 26 years
EUGENE – There is an old African proverb that states: “If you want to run fast, run alone. If you want to run far, run together.”
Kallyn Wilkins, a senior at Condon High School, is the only girl on the Condon Cross-Country team. She has gotten used to running by herself, whether at her family’s home near Olex or at cross-country meets. But to say that Kallyn is alone would be untrue.
Wilkins has been buoyed by the support from her peers and her school. She has forged a strong bond and gotten support from the Condon Boys Cross Country Team.
Heading to the state championship last Saturday in Eugene, Wilkins also got an outpouring of support from the Condon Community. Signs were made by high schoolers and displayed in the windows of businesses on Main Street. Several people from Condon made the trek to Eugene to cheer Kallyn on. In truth, she was far from alone.
Last Saturday, Wilkins took 10th place in the OSAA 3A/2A/1A State Championship at Lane Community College, just outside of Eugene. It is the first time that a Condon athlete has medaled in Cross-Country since Josh Selby did so in 1995.
It has been an historic year for Wilkins and the Condon Cross-Country team. Unlike other sports, 1A schools do not compete solely against each other. Instead, athletes from 1A compete with 2A and 3A schools, many of whom turn out more than a dozen runners.
But that didn’t deter or intimidate Kallyn Wilkins, who has outperformed athletes from bigger schools.
Kallyn is a longtime runner and has participated in Cross-Country for six years, starting in junior high. Coached by her mom, Natalie Wilkins, and Gabrielle Homer – Kallyn has become one of the most elite runners in Condon’s school history.
Vice-Principal and Athletic Director Teren Humphrey says he has seen it coming.
“I have watched Kallyn run track when I was in Arlington and I know that this is something that she has been working for her entire career,” he said. “It was amazing to see her competing with the top girls in the state and going up against girls that were in the 2A and 3A classifications. It was also great that her teammates were able to go watch and support her and hopefully inspire them to make it to the state meet in the future.”
Her mom and coach Natalie Wilkins said in a post on social media that she couldn’t be more proud of her daughter.
“For the past 6 years we have watched Kallyn run in a Condon jersey,” Natalie Wilkins said. “Many times she ran by herself, trained by herself, competed by herself. Today, we watched her run her final cross-country race in a Condon jersey at the OSAA State Cross Country meet. We watched her once again, line up by herself in the cold, wind and rain. She ran completely fearless and full of heart! She went into the State meet ranked 19th and came out with a 10th place medal finish!”
Kallyn is humble and seems to be taking it all in stride. Catching up with her before she went to her work-study at Wheatland Insurance, Kallyn says that she is thankful to have a supportive community behind her.
“I want to thank everyone in the community for the support, for the signs and balloons,” Wilkins said. “I really appreciate it.”