Community Spotlight: Kaitlyn St. Hilaire
January is Health & Fitness month at MillBridge so who better to feature than our very own Kaitlyn St. Hilaire! You have probably seen her running (literally) around the neighborhood but you can learn more about your athletic high school neighbor below and how you or your kids can get involved in her running or venture crew.
Q: Hi, Kaitlyn! Tell your neighbors a little about yourself! Where are you from? What school do you go to? How long have you been in MillBridge?
A: Hey, neighbors! I grew up in New York in the countryside south of Syracuse in a small town called Whitney Point. When I was nine my dad got a job offer here in North Carolina, so we moved. We have been here for about six years now. I’m a freshman at Cuthbertson High school.
Q: I hear you’re quite the runner! Tell us what you’re involved with and any accomplishments you’re most proud of.
A: I enjoy running a lot. Ever since I was little I’ve been very energetic so in third grade I started running in programs like Girls on the Run, but it wasn’t until the winter of sixth grade that things took off. That year I competed in my first Junior Olympic cross-country championship in Myrtle Beach. I continued running, returning to Junior Olympic for the next three years. Each year I would take huge leaps of improvement; and now, in my freshman year, I’m currently one of the top four girls on the team! Finishing the cross-country season in November, I had a PR of 19:10 on trails in the 5K and a PR of 18:42 on the road in the 5K, unofficially. My winter track rankings are 18th in the 1000m (3:09.54 time), 9th in the 1600m (5:15.89 time) and 24th in the 3200m (11:28.85 time) in North Carolina. I am very proud of my accomplishments thus far and I have a feeling that our team is going to do great this track season and maybe even win states! GO CAVS!
Q: That’s impressive! How often do you train and how do you train?
A: For high school cross-country and track we practice six days a week, Monday-Saturday, with Sunday off normally. The cross-country team starts training in June to prep for the season in the fall, with morning practices to avoid the heat, occasionally followed by an evening strength train session. Cross-country is all about endurance. A lot of long runs (8-12 miles) are incorporated into our workouts throughout the summer. There are also a lot of tempo and endurance runs thrown in with long mileage repeats. Our awesome coaches work us hard, ramping us up to 20-40 miles per week.
However, track is a completely different ball game. Track is all about speed, so right from the get go we do speed intervals, mixing up the tempo with long runs, hard days, intervals, recovery runs and hills every Saturday. It’s hard to keep up with all the speed work, but I think that that’s one of the things that’s driving me to improve this season, especially with Coach Allen and Coach Stamper encouraging me the whole way; they are really teaching me to push my limits.
Q: Do you have any idea what you want to do when you graduate?
A: Job wise, I have no clue. I am pretty sure I would like to go to college or join the Army, but I have not narrowed down a major or area of interest yet. I would love to get a college scholarship to run cross country, track or be on a triathlon team. I don’t have a favorite subject in school, so I’m just working hard and keeping an open mind.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about living in MillBridge?
A: Well, there’s not just one specific thing I like the most. The races like the Turkey Trot and the Rocket Run are a lot of fun to participate in. I also am a part of the MillBridge swim team which is an encouraging team experience for me and it’s good cross training. I also like the Thread Trail and the paved trails in the neighborhood because it gives me more variety than just running on the roads. But one of my overall favorites is the community in general and the events they put on; it really pulls the community together!
Q: What else would you like your neighbors to know about you?
A: I recently expanded into training for triathlons, having completed my first one last summer and falling in love with the sport. It really tests your endurance. I have a road bike so whenever I have time I’ll take it out and ride around the neighborhood doing a basic workout I created: 5 minutes fast and 2 minutes recovery. Repeat that anywhere from 2 to 7 times. I enjoy organizing runs for middle schoolers here in the neighborhood a couple times a week in the summer to help them train for their upcoming cross-country season (if you’re interested in joining, tweet me at @KaitlynRoseXC).
I also am a part of the Venture Crew that was started here in MillBridge. It is similar to boy scouts but for both boys and girls, 14 and over or graduated from 8th grade. We meet once a month and go camping, hiking, skiing and on other outdoor adventures. You can check out information on the program here. Along with all of that, I am a part of the Cuthbertson High School Wind Ensemble, playing the piccolo and flute. In March we are performing at MPA and in April we will be performing on the Dixie stage in Georgia! I’m excited.