O'Fallon Progress

Kersten Douglas leads pack of OTHS runners to state

Kersten Douglas
Kersten Douglas

OTHS senior Kersten Douglas has made a career of leading the pack. She has showcased her speed since a fledgling freshman and continues to play an integral role in the success of the Lady Panther track team. The talented sprinter will compete for O’Fallon for the final time this weekend in the IHSA Class 3A state finals. Her efforts in this past week’s Belleville sectional have afforded her the opportunity to go out with a bang and were instrumental in her selection as this week’s top athlete.

Douglas will compete in four events in Charleston, the site of the IHSA state finals. At Belleville, the senior speedster, the daughter of Sam and Suzy Douglas, ran the lead-off leg in the Lady Panthers’ sectional champion 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays. In both events, O’Fallon finished with the best times in the state, setting up the Lady Panthers’ bid for a state championship. Individually, Douglas has enough gas in the tank to also qualify in the 100 and 200 meter sprints. The exceptional effort will test her stamina in the state showcase, but OTHS coach Neil James believes that his senior sprinter has the determination and talent to succeed.

“Kersten has just been so solid for us for the past four years,” James said. “She sets the pace for our sprint relay teams and has been consistently one of the top sprinters in the area. We have depended on her to give our relay teams stability and provide points in conjunction with her teammates and in individual events.”

“This is my sixth year of running track,” Douglas said. “I started running after following my cousin to tryouts in sixth grade at Fulton, and I couldn’t stop after that. Lots of prayer, motivation and preparation have made me a successful runner. The hard work has paid off since I have accepted a scholarship to West Point.”

Competing in track and field has made me a more humble and dedicated person,” added the O’Fallon senior. “It’s taught me to push on in unfavorable conditions and helped build my relationship with God to where it is now.”