Freshman runs the world

Alyssa Pearson

More stories from Alyssa Pearson

Halfway there
January 26, 2022

She has the second fastest 5K time for girls in Etowah history. She is the third fastest freshman in the state. She is ranked 232 in the nation, and she is only fifteen. She is Makenna Calbert, freshman cross country and track runner, and she is racing through the record books. 

“I really enjoy running at Etowah. I love my coaches and my teammates. They really inspire me and want what is best for me,” Calbert said. 

Calbert ran her first Fun Run when she was five and progressed to her first 5K when she was seven. Ever since, she has been passionate about the sport. 

“I … try my best when I am running, so that I can be the best I can be,” Calbert said.  

Calbert prefers cross country over track because she enjoys running along trails and through the woods. 

“The distance that you race [in cross country] is longer, which I like a lot better,” Calbert said. 

When she is not running, Calbert watches professional runners to help encourage her. Olympic medalists Jenny Simpson and Emma Coburn are among her many role models.  

“They really inspire me … each one loves and really cares about running,” Calbert said 

Though it may be tough to balance both school and running, Calbert’s passion for the sport motivates her to stay on top of her studies. 

“Right after school, I go to cross country practice. Then I go straight home and do homework for four hours. I usually do homework on the weekends too, so it is a lot of work,” Calbert said. 

Along with her busy schedule of school and training, Calbert spends her limited free time helping younger athletes discover their passion for the sport. 

“I also help out and volunteer for the Etowah youth team,” Calbert said. 

Calbert has a personal goal to run a 5K under 17 minutes before she graduates. Students can keep an Eagle eye on Calbert in her upcoming years at Etowah.