Athlete of the Week: Kellian Hunt off and running
Freshman Kellian Hunt could have easily run at an NCAA Div. I school, but she chose to attend Biola instead. Her journey to Biola began during her junior year at Whittier Christian High School, when she realized that she had a passion for running.
“I definitely love how challenging it is and how much it demands out of you,” Hunt said. “There’s something extremely rewarding about seeing yourself improve.”
UC's appealed to Hunt at first
Hunt was primarily interested in attending one of the University of California schools and kept her search within California. She wanted to attend a school that was further than Biola, which is about 25 minutes from her hometown of Yorba Linda. However, an immense part of Hunt’s decision to come to Biola was based on the people that she would be running with on the team. Visiting the campus and meeting some of her teammates during Biola’s preview weekend for prospective students sealed the deal.
“I just fell in love with the place, the atmosphere and all of the people, especially the people on the team,” Hunt said. “Since I’ve gotten here they’ve been an absolute blessing to both my college life and to my running experience.”
Hunt has shown exceptional talent from the very first meet of the season. On Sept. 1, she placed second at the Redlands Invitational, helping the Eagles sweep the top six places. She recorded a time of 17:00 in the 4,500-meter and came in just five seconds behind senior Rachel Stump.
Hunt has had early success at Biola
On Sept. 15, she led the Eagles to a second place finish as a team at the San Diego State University Aztec Invitational. It was the first 5k race of the season and Hunt placed sixth overall with a time of 19:03. What makes this feat even more impressive is that Biola was the only school at the meet that was not in the NCAA Div. I. Other schools that competed include the University of Southern California, California State University, Northridge and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
“I wasn’t sure how we would rank up against D-1 schools so it’s definitely encouraging that our team can compete against such a high level,” Hunt said.
Transition into freshman year is different for cross-country athletes
Cross-country season occurs at the very beginning of the school year, so the transition into college for freshman runners can sometimes be harder than on those that play sports later in the year.
“It was difficult, but not as difficult as it could have been,” Hunt said. “I think I’m adjusting well.”
Perseverance is something that is essential to the character of any cross-country runner, and Hunt acknowledged that long-distance running is not always easy.
“You find yourself talking to God and just giving it to Him,” Hunt said about the difficult races.
After only two meets, Hunt has already shown that she has the ability to be a powerful force on Biola’s cross-country team. With the rest of the season still ahead of her, Hunt plans to continue to improve and strive to reach her goal to qualify for the NAIA National Championship meet in November.