Running For The Thrill Of It

While humble about most things, freshman Kori Nesbit is the first to admit that she is the star runner in her household. Her cross country and track career stemmed from a fifth grade after-school program in the Granite City district called Girls on the Run. Teachers used the program to educate girls on self-esteem and staying active.

In the following years, she ran track in middle and high school, leading her to a college running career at Greenville College. Kori’s father coached her through her high school running days and trained with her at home. “My dad is the whole reason why I started running,” she said.

Mr. Nesbit ran throughout high school and college, and Kori followed in his footsteps. During the summer before beginning her high school career, Kori’s father had a heart attack immediately following a run, leaving him legally deceased. Thankfully, her mother was present and performed CPR, bringing him back to life. Doctors called it a fluke when they found a blocked artery in an otherwise completely healthy middle-aged man. This experience motivated Kori to become a stronger runner. She continued running with her father just weeks after the incident and still trains with him during her time at home.

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Of course, the college running atmosphere is a bit different from high school for Kori.

“The team here is a lot more supportive and a lot less competitive between members,” she mentioned. “I enjoy it more because I feel less pressure from team members and coaches.”

The majority of Kori’s time outside of class is spent running with the cross country team and independently. In addition to academic work, each week consists of five or more practices and at least one meet. However, Kori is never alone. In fact, she considers the cross country team as her main friend group.

“The majority of my friends are runners. [Running] helps me be more social because I’m not a very social person.”

She was introduced to her current roommate, Corinne Weber, when Corinne hosted Kori as a preview student last year. In addition to Greenville’s extensive recruiting powers, she was attracted by the small, Christ-centered atmosphere and friendly people.
Surprisingly, running is not always a stress reliever for her. While the experience is mainly positive, she explains that it can be stressful at times. “When I run in the morning it sets my mood for the day. If I have a good run, it’s a good day. If I have a bad run, it will negatively affect my day.”

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Cross country can sometimes become overwhelming for Kori. In fact, she hesitates to identify herself outside of athletics. As the previous editor in chief for the Granite City High School newspaper, Kori also enjoys reading and writing in her free time. However, it is hard to believe that she has any free time at all. Once cross country season is over, she begins training for track!

Kori is also very close to her family, and is grateful for the family she has found in the cross country team. “We are all super close, and we have each otherís backs in running, in school, and with personal stuff.” The team even holds family game nights with pasta dinners and card games. These bonding times often involve sharing stories and daring one another to eat gruesome combinations of food. No matter the result of their season, the close-knit Panthers can count on one another for laughs and support.

by Becca McLemore

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