DENMARK, Wisc. (WBAY) Long distance running is Leah Kralovetz' passion, but her journey to the track, that can best be described as a sprint. As a junior and in her first full year dedicated to running—competing in both cross country and track—she's established herself as one of the best in the state.
“Knowing that my teammates and my family and my coaches are there like supporting me, it helps,” Leah Kravoletz said. “I can guarantee you, I probably wouldn't be doing as well as I am if I didn't have them here."
“We have a really, really strong competitor,” Denmark long distance running coach, Terry Wetzel said. “Leah is probably the second athlete at this elite level that I’ve coached, and I am beyond excited to see what she is going to do.”
Kralovetz didn't always love running, especially not her shorter 1600 meter and 3200 meter races.
“I’m really routined to cross country, and that longer, so it's like a different pace than the mile is,” Kralovetz said. “Running in circles it gets a little old. It's not as bad as I thought as I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to get really bored running. It really helps when you're teammates are like there supporting you. That really always motivates me to run."
A longtime soccer and volleyball player, Kralovetz was initially approached by her coach, Terry Wetzel, to give the whole long distance thing a try.
“Well, he saw me run track my freshman year,” Kralovetz said. “He saw a lot of potential in me and he tried to convince me, ‘Come on! Come do cross country, like you'd be good,’ and he was the cross country coach so I was kind of like, I was really hesitant about it. The day I had to turn in my sheet in summer to do cross country that was when I decided I was going to do cross country and not volleyball, cause I wanted to do volleyball."
Her feelings about track are shockingly similar.
“I didn’t really want to do track,” Kralovetz said. “I was like, soccer, that's kind of a sport that's kind of been in my family my brother started the boys soccer program at Denmark, and I've always loved soccer, and it's always been my favorite sport."
“I don't think I stole her from soccer,” Coach Wetzel said. “I think the soccer coaches were humble about this might be the right place for her.”
Off the track, Leah is also a standout, but humble is a word often use when describing her.
“She’s just humble about her accomplishments and that means so much to me as a coach,” Coach Wetzel said. “She's a great student and well liked."
She was voted prom queen after accompanying a classmate who has autism to their junior dance.
“Well, he is a boy in our grade, and he just happens to have autism,” Kralovetz said. “Everyone loves Justin, and I've been friends with him since 1st grade, so I decided, we both got put on court, so I decided I wanted to go with him and make his first dance special.”
That act of kindness will be just part of the legacy Leah will leave behind at Denmark High School. She also hopes to continue long distance running at the next level.
“She can be a success in college on a much grander scale than the high school scale,” Coach Wetzel said. “Hard to predict these things, but she can go much farther."
“I hope that I can get scholarships,” Kralovetz said. “I've had a lot of colleges kind of like contact me, so I hope to continue running."