When Kourtney Shuler was an eighth-grader, Casey Howell approached her with an idea.

Howell was starting a cross country team at Ohatchee and he felt like Shuler would be a great addition to the team. She was a great athlete already as she played volleyball and basketball, but she had never considered being a runner. She tried it out and at first didn’t like it but as the weeks went by she began to see improvement as her times began to decrease. Pretty soon Shuler was addicted to being the best runner she could be.

That same year she received her first medal at the Calhoun County cross country meet, and then her team was sectional champions after being heavy underdogs.

Now she’s a junior and she’s made the all-county and all-sectional team every year she’s competed, while also going to the state meet. She also runs the 800 meter, 400 meter and is on the 4x800 meter relay team for track. She also throws the javelin.

She still plays basketball, and even competes in a fall league at the new Champions Sports Academy in Alexandria. She gave up volleyball in ninth grade because it was too difficult to keep up cross country and volleyball at the same time.

She took a few minutes after her practice Monday to answer 10 questions with Anniston Star Sports Writer Will Gaines.

 

Q: What is it you enjoy about cross country?

A:  It’s just the feeling of rewarding yourself after a long summer of training. Getting a trophy or a medal feels great because all your hard work has paid off.

 

Q: How do you train?

A: You have to do everything from eating right to sleeping enough and getting in the right amount of miles. I run about 25 miles a week.

 

Q: What’s been your favorite memory at Ohatchee?

A: Probably my eighth-grade year when the girls team won sectionals. That was a great feeling and probably my favorite memory. It just felt great because we were the underdog and nobody expected us to come out there and kill it like we did.

 

Q: What are your goals for this season?

A: Just for our girls to win or place at state and the same for our boys. My goal time would be 19:30, I’m trying to beat that right now. My PR (personal record) right now is a 19:58.

 

Q: What celebrity’s autograph would you like to have?

A: Justin Bieber. I think he’s cute. I don’t really listen to his music. I just think he’s cute.

 

Q: If you had an extra $20, how would you spend it?

A: Taco Bell. That’s my favorite fast food restaurant. I could eat it every day.

 

Q: What’s something you wish you had more time for?

A: Probably just being a regular teenager. Not having to go straight home and study. I could just do whatever and watch TV. I’m an AP student so as soon as a I get home I have to start studying.

 

Q: You’re 16 and about to turn 17. How did your first driving lesson go?

A: I think that was when I was 12 and I think my mom almost had a heart attack. Luckily we were just in the grass.

 

Q: Do you have any superstitions for running, anything that you just have to do?

A: I always have to retie my shoes and I usually have to go to the bathroom like five times before every race. During basketball I usually have to ask one of my teammates which way we’re going. Even if I know which way I still have to ask.

 

Q: What’s your favorite TV show?

A: I don’t really watch a lot of TV, but I would probably say American Horror Story. This season that just started has been my favorite so far.

Sports Writer Will Gaines: 256-235-3577. On Twitter: @wgaines_star.