By MARINA WATERS
It’s almost been a year since Daniel Boone High School senior Carson Walls decided he wanted to run at the collegiate level.
With the help of his coaches, he realized his goal could be accomplished. And that goal was met when he officially signed with Tusculum College to continue his academic and athletic career.
“I didn’t really think (of running in college) until last summer really,” Walls said. “It’s always been a goal, but it’s not something I thought I’d ever actually do until then. My coaches told me if I kept working at it and kept getting my times down that it was a possible goal. But it was definitely a shock to me until this week.”
Walls said he was in middle school when he first decided to join the cross country team. After also talking to his father, who also ran when he was in school, Walls decided to give running a try. Little did he know, he’d fall in love with the sport.
“I thought I’d give it a shot,” Walls said. “I tried it out and I liked it pretty well in middle school and went on to do it in high school. But I didn’t really buy into the program until last summer. That’s when I really started seeing improvements. That’s when I really fell in love with the sport. This year I definitely fell in love with it.”
Since he started running, Carson has been named an all-conference and all-region cross country runner who has also competed at state. And now, he’s ready to continue on that path at Tusculum, where he plans to pursue a degree in science.
“I’m just looking forward to having the opportunity to continue running,” Walls said. “I’m really looking forward to running at the collegiate level and seeing all the new challenges and races and new obstacles. And I would definitely say the opportunity to run at the next level and meeting new people and a new team (is exciting).”
But Walls had his share of obstacles as a high school runner; during his junior year, he grew six to seven inches taller and thus had growth plate issues when training.
“That was really frustrating,” Walls said. “That spring I missed a lot of workouts because when I’d run, they’d swell up and were killing me. I was really discouraged with that. But once that went away, I still grew a bit and finally got to that height. That really helped out.”
Now that he’s on to his college dream, and is finished growing, Walls is back at full speed, doing what he loves — and working towards his running goals.
“It’s just such a good feeling when you finish a race or set a a new time or record that you’ve worked so hard for,” he said. “It’s a really good feeling that comes over you when you finish a race. You feel like your hard work’s paid off.”