Look out Niagara-Wheatfield rivals: There's a fast one coming up this year.
Rebecca Rider, a newcomer to the sport of cross country, is a freshman at Niagara-Wheatfield High School and has already proven herself to be an extraordinary runner, according to her coaches. She has participated in various races where she has shown her true calling and appreciation for running.
On Oct. 30, Rider competed in the 2010 Niagara Frontier League Cross Country Sectionals. All Niagara Frontier Schools were present at sectionals, which took place at Beaver Island Park, on Grand Island. Rider came in ninth place, winning her the title of NFL Girls Cross Country Champion.
Because of this achievement, she was chosen to run in the Checker's High School Cross Country Race. At this race, only those NFL champions who were invited to run could participate. This was a race for exceptional runners all throughout Western New York and took place at Elma Meadows on Nov. 21. Rider came in an impressive 15th. She also went to sectionals at Elma Meadows on Nov. 5 and was only two places away from going to states.
Rider's coach, Megan Desiderio, said that Rider is an extraordinary runner for someone who is only in her first year of cross-country and track.
Rider says her new found love for running was inspired by her father. Her dad is in the military, which motivated her to begin running because of his hard work and dedication for our country.
"One day in middle school, I decided to try to run the full mile, four laps around the track, and I really liked it," said Rider.
In addition to running, Rider enjoys shooting rifles, which she does at Twin City Rifle Club once a week. Rider plans on continuing running during her high school career, and her coaches, friends and teammates can't wait to see how well she'll do with a few more years of running under her belt.