New Balance Local Heroes Contest: Maryland, DC, Northern Virginia Finalists Announced

MileSplit and FloTrack have partnered with New Balance to create the "Local Heroes" program, in order to recognize local high school distance runners who are making a real difference in the world around them. Congratulations to our finalists from MD/DC/NoVA for the New Balance Local Heroes Contest. Each finalist will receive a special gear kit from New Balance. From these five finalists, we will announce one overall winner of the New Balance Local Hero contest from each of the five regions at the end of August. The winner will receive an awards party at a local running shoe retailer and their XC team will be outfitted with free New Balance shoes!

Alexis Bell, Kenwood - Alexis is a veteran Cross Country runner. She is tries hard every day sand still finds time for the sport with her busy schedule. She is the current senior class president and art of Student Government. Se volunteers for BARCS animal association along with HCR which is a Hospice Manor Care program. She also has a special needs sister who is also on XC team in which she has to take care of during practice, school, and home. She really is a hero.

Ty Franks, Bohemia ManorTy during his freshman year, won 5 1A state titles for XC and track. He also is well known for his sportsmanship. He helps out with numerous community projects, such as volunteering at our local homeless shelter and food drives as well as organizing his friends on the team for litter pick up along the shorelines of our local beaches. He runs 5K events to raise money for causes important to him, and those around him. He does his best to leave our community a better place.

Samantha Hull, Chantilly - Sammy is my daughter, but that shouldn't disqualify her for the amazing impact she has had on thousands of young kids in our community. I am the Director of CYA Track, the largest youth Track & Field program in the mid-Atlantic area. At this point, our program has produced a National HS champion and SEVERAL All-Americans, State Champs, All-States, etc. Sammy has several accolades, but her contribution to CYA Track is un-equaled. The youth program that I administer is for kids aged 4-14, a VERY impressionable group of kids. For the past 4 years (after being an athlete in the program) Sammy has been the LEADER of the weekly weekly warm-ups and stretching that our kids do before each meet and practice session. Picture 350 kids (I have the pictures to prove it!!) lined up on the track, standing on the lines of the track with Sammy leading them all in stretches, jumping jacks, rocket jumps, plyos, etc. ! All while standing on a picnic table on the 50-yard line of the football field

Mackenzie Cowne, Chantilly - Mackenzie Cowne is my younger sister, but she is one of the most inspiring people I have come to know. Mackenzie started running cross country her sophomore year and although she does not run on the varsity squad, she has much more to contribute to the team. She always has a positive attitude and she is one of the most supportive girls on the team. She comes to every meet and cheers the team on even if she is not running. She tries her best in every race and works hard at practice. Off the cross country course, Mackenzie pushes herself in school and has a 4.0 GPA. Every Sunday in the spring, Mackenzie volunteers as a coach for the Chantilly Youth Association (CYA) track and field program. She is one of the first people there and one of the last to leave. She helps set up, clean up, and she teaches the 5-14 year old kids how to high jump. The CYA track program Mackenzie helps at not only teaches kids the fundamentals of track and field, but it also keeps kids away from bad influences
Kate Scott, Chantilly - Kate Scott is a strong, hard working, and loving young woman. Scott's father had Alzheimer's while she was growing up. From this, Scott learned to love life and appreciate every moment. She went out for the cross country team and didn't make it the first time. She was determined, and made the next try out 1 week later. From that day forward, Scott worked hard at every practice and every meet. She became an inspiration to everyone (especially me) that anything is possible if you work hard. Aside from running, Kate Scott has maintained above a 4.0 GPA in school. She is a part of many of the programs at Chantilly HS. One of her biggest contributions to Chantilly is her work for the writing center, where she tutors and helps other students. She is also a big part of her church and her community, always doing projects for both. She may not be well known in the running world, but she is very well known among the faculty, students, parents and Chantilly community as one of the sweetest girls.