In the sixth grade, senior Caitlin Hoyng began running. After participating in a local 5k, she joined the Northmont Middle School cross country and track and field teams. Her talent resulted in her competing in the Middle School State meet in seventh grade. Then, in eighth grade, she experienced her first injuries: Achilles tendinitis and a stress fracture. The injuries required her to take time off of running and go through physical therapy. Now, five years later, Hoyng is a senior and is competing in her last track season.
“I’ve had 8 injuries since eighth grade and I’ve had issues with anemia for 2 seasons,” said Hoyng.
According to Runner’s World, anemia is a condition where the body does not produce enough red blood cells. This leads to decreased blood flow to the muscles. To function properly, runners and other athletes must have proper blood flow because of the transportation of oxygen. If an athlete doesn’t get enough oxygen to their muscles, then they will begin to feel fatigued and performance will worsen unexpectedly.
“To overcome these injuries, I had to go to a lot of physical therapy over the years,” said Hoyng. “Sometimes, I just needed to remind myself why it’s important for me to keep running.”
Even after all of these setbacks, she still hasn’t given up.
“Improvement isn’t linear, so don’t worry if you aren’t doing as well as you expect,” said Hoyng.
Hoyng is attending the University of Michigan. Michigan’s club running team is the largest in the nation (U-M Running Club).
“I’ll keep running for the rest of my life,” said Hoyng. “I’ve gotten this far.”
Hoyng competed in her last races at Districts on Wednesday, May 16 and Friday, May 18. She placed fifth in the 3200-meter run, while only the top four finishers advance to Regionals. The Northmont girl’s team earned District runner-up for the second year in a row.