By Luverta Reames
Senior track and cross-country runner Kaitie Thorne is not the only person in her family who loves sports.
Thorne, the second oldest of six children, has participated in cross-country and track since middle school. She was in cross-country in the fall, indoor track in the winter and outdoor track during the spring.
Everyone in the Thorne family has been involved with at least one sport at some point. Most of them still are.
Each of her siblings plays some sport, whether it is football, basketball, soccer or volleyball. Her father played football and basketball and even went on to play quarterback for his college’s football team. He now coaches middle school football. Thorne’s mother coached her in cross-country during middle school as the team’s assistant coach.
While Thorne grew up surrounded by a family of athletes, she says she did not feel she was forced into playing sports but made up her own mind.
“We didn’t have to play sports. My parents were supportive of anything we wanted to do,” Thorne says.
Thorne chose to run anyway. But balancing her nursing classes and sports keeps her busy throughout the year.
While her running and her education are important, she knows her walk with God is even more important.
To maintain her spiritual growth, she goes to bed close to 10 p.m. each night and gets up around 6 a.m. to read her Bible and pray.
“I am more of a morning person and so I get up early to focus my day,” she said.
Thorne is not the only athlete on the track team who knows that faith is important. After stretching and before the team goes on a run, they huddle up and say a quick prayer to maintain their focus on G
od. Before each track meet, head coach Mike McDowell designates a specific person to lead a devotional.
As one of the team’s captains, Thorne makes sure her teammates have additional opportunities to grow. One of those ways is by leading a team Bible study.
Thorne also joined assistant coach Tori Ladner and other members of the track team in Costa Rica over spring break.
The team aided Costa Rican children by going to schools to help with physical education classes. At the end of the trip, the team also hosted a track meet for the children, handing out T-shirts and ribbons to the winners.
“Trips like this always remind me of how blessed I truly am. Why should I be the one to have such a blessed life?Why was I so fortunate to be born in the United States to a stable family? There are so many kids who don’t even know who their dad is or if they will get 3 meals a day, and may have to wear the same clothes for weeks in a row. It doesn’t make sense, and I really don’t have an answer for it. Maybe someday God will call me to do long term missions in another country, but for the time being all I can do is support and be a blessing to others with the blessings that I have.”