Dryden High track star Rachel Hutchinson almost ran down a different path.
But now, she is just running past everyone.
For a while, the Purple Lions senior felt she was destined to play soccer. But like a lot of young athletes, she found herself enjoying more than one sport. After a coach suggested track and field, she gave it a try — and has never looked back.
Hutchinson has made a name for herself in the area during her impressive senior campaign, just recently breaking the school records in both the 1,500 meters (4 minutes, 46.99 seconds) and the 3,000 meters (10:34.53). And in December, she ran the third-fastest high school time in the country this season at 1,000 meters — a 2:58.79.
As she continues to break her own records, she has set the bar higher and hopes to reach more goals this season. Her ultimate short-term goal: a berth in the indoor state meet in the 1,000 meters. In this week’s edition of “Five Questions,” we ask Hutchinson about her goals, her heroes and her plans for after graduation.
How have your coaches and teammates influenced you as you’ve gotten older?
My coach (Lee Stuttle) has done a good job, whether it’s picking out workouts or helping us improve, and my teammates are always positive and they have always cheered me on. I really enjoy running with them.
How did it feel to break the 1,000-meter school record recently?
It was really exciting and it was not something I expected at the beginning of the season. I expected to be faster this season, but I also did not expect to be under 3 minutes at this point.
Besides track, what kind of hobbies do you have?
I really enjoy reading, especially fantasy novels. I also enjoy playing different games and hanging out with my friends.
Do you have any role models or heroes?
I really admire my mom. For a while she worked, but now she stays home and takes care of us. Some people look down on that, but I have seen her work really hard to take care of us and do everything she could to help us succeed. I just really admire that. … She has always been there to drive me to different activities or help me on questions, whether its homework or friendships. She has always been someone I can feel comfortable going to, and I really appreciate that. One thing I really appreciate is that she always prays for me whenever I race.
What are your plans following graduation?
I’m planning to go to either Roberts Wesleyan (in Rochester) or Houghton (southeast of Buffalo), and I’m going to run track in college.