“I really thought I wasn’t going to be that good at all and my confidence was pretty low,“ said Hollister senior Kylee Winkert.
When Kylie started running track, she had no idea the impact it would have on her life.
“I remember my first gold metal I was so excited. I finished and I cross the finish line and I was like mom I got first that’s awesome. She was like what that’s my kid,“ Winkert said.
One medal led to many.
“Last year she was part of our 4×800 team that got ninth at state, so they were one place away from being all state, but it was just a huge accomplishment for them they’ve been working so hard for four years to get to go to state and really show their stuff,“ said track coach Austin Wegner.
The Hollister track team set nine school records last year. Kylee’s 4×800 team was one of them. She also set the school’s cross country 5k record in the fall. Her goal was to end her senior year with a third record in the spring.
“I was hoping to catch up to my friend Kragen in the mail she said like three different records last year, which is super cool but I was like I’m gonna go get her records after she graduates, but now I’m not able to do that,“ Winkert said.
The pandemic took away that opportunity – giving Kylie time to reflect on her career.
“I’ve never been like naturally talented. I really have to work for it, and get lots of workouts in and actually listen to what my coaches are saying to me and try to follow that,“ Winkert said.
Inspiring her now, as she’s racing toward her next goal; getting her teaching degree and returning to Hollister to join her coaches as an assistant.
“She’s going to be perfect for it just because she is one of the hardest workers that we’ve ever had at Hollister,“ said Wegner.
Right now it’s hard not competing this spring, but she’s happy thinking about all of the springs to come.
“I really miss track, that’s pretty much it. I think that just inspires me to become a coach more, because I want to come back and be like, alright, I didn’t get my senior season so time to get these other kids to be as good as they can be and get to their senior seasons,” Winkert said.