Record-setting middle school distance runner aims to get faster

SPEED RACER: Dreea Atchison (left) owns Morley Stanwood Middle School girls track records in both the 1600-meter run and the 3200-meter run. She also owns the fastest middle school girls cross country time. (Photo courtesy of Mark Atchison).

SPEED RACER: Dreea Atchison (left) owns Morley Stanwood Middle School girls track records in both the 1600-meter run and the 3200-meter run. She also owns the fastest middle school girls cross country time. (Photo courtesy of Mark Atchison).

MORLEY — Records were made to be broken, and Morley Stanwood Middle School’s Dreea Atchison is doing just that.

The eighth-grader has been blazing a trail as a distance runner on the girls track team, posting a school-record 1600-meter run time of 5:43.3 May 3 against Kent City.

“She had a goal this year,” middle school coach Carrie Paulen said. “We pulled her out of the two-mile so she could make a run at it. She was seven seconds ahead of pace after her first lap.”

Atchison ran down the home stretch and crossed the finish line with her teammates lining the track.

“I was really tired,” Atchison said. “I couldn’t feel my arms or legs or anything. I had no idea what my time was.”

Atchison is one of the best middle school distance runners in the area, having already set the school record in the 3200-meter run with a time of 12:33.3. She also owns the school’s cross country record, posting a time of 9:25.8 this past season.

According to Athletic.net, Atchison’s record mile time is the 15th-fastest middle school mile in the state of Michigan this year.

With her hard work and dedication, she’s the perfect athlete to coach.

“I haven’t had to do anything,” Paulen said. “She puts in the work. She puts in the work on weekends and at practice. She wants to push everybody else.

“That mentality helps her achieve something like this.”

Atchison isn’t one to rest on her laurels. She’s constantly looking for ways to improve her running and hopes to re-break her 3200-meter record time of 12:23.

“I train year-round,” Atchison said. “I do track workouts like 400’s and 800’s. I also try to get good mileage in.”

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