Kyle Markley’s first day as a Comet was an early one, or a late one, depending on your perspective. It was 12 a.m., Aug. 19 in the northern woods of Michigan. Headlamps and flashlights illuminated the road as the Comet cross country teams ran into the woods. For six miles, the men’s team ran more by faith than sight. Six miles of running in absolute darkness through the woods isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time, but Kyle was right at home.
Kyle began his running career in sixth grade at Byron Middle School when his mother signed him up for the cross country team. According to Kyle, this was one of his mother’s several attempts to burn up his endless energy. “Looking back, I really appreciate my mom for having me join that season because my love for the sport has only grown since then,” Kyle said. “I love racing — in a race I can see all the hours of hard work and sacrifice pay off as I compete against those around me. Running is a sport that requires more than just talent; it requires dedication outside of the normal practice hours.”
This is a common response among runners. You will have a hard time finding a competitive collegiate runner who doesn’t enjoy racing. At its core, running is a simple sport, not an easy sport. “Hard work, dedication and positivity make a runner great,” Kyle noted, reflecting on his own training. “One of my favorite quotes from a coach is, ‘What separates the good runners from the great runners is what they do in the 22 hours other than the two hours of practice every day.’ If a runner is willing to make personal sacrifices to better themselves and help their team, they will eventually become a great runner.”
Kyle has big goals both on and off the field of competition. “This season my goal in track is to break 16 minutes in the 5000m, as well as find an event or events to compete in that I enjoy. The goal I’d like to achieve by senior year is to compete at nationals for cross country and track and become an All-American,” Kyle said.
In the classroom, Kyle has enjoyed the criminal justice program at Olivet College, noting that the small class size, experienced professors and emphasis on professional development make him feel prepared for his future career. After graduation, he would like to work for the FBI or another government agency.
Kyle feels the individual attention he receives from his coaches and professors makes a big difference in his performance. “When I put in the work, when I do the right things, people notice,” Kyle said. “I’m not just a number; I’m valued and encouraged.” With an OC education, Kyle is confident in his future.
Learn more about the Olivet College track and field and cross country teams by attending an upcoming Feature Day Feb. 18, March 28 or April 10. For questions about becoming a Comet, contact the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.