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Athlete of the Week: Eastern View High School senior Ranea Saadeh

It takes both attitude and effort to make a champion and Eastern View High School senior Ranea Saadeh has them both, according to her cross country coach Paul Lutz.

“Right now she is the strongest leader on the girls side,” said Lutz. “She has a great attitude, is always trying to improve and is running in the top two this year.

“A lot of athletes say they will train in the off season, but she is one who actually does it.”

Saadeh is the Culpeper Times “Athlete of the Week” for girls cross country.

“We haven't elected captains yet, but she is basically serving in that role,” said Lutz. “When the time comes to choose a captain she will be given strong consideration. She's also a very good student.”

Saadeh will be in her fourth year of track this spring at EVHS, but this is just her second year on the cross country course.

“I am really competitive and that's one of the reasons I enjoy running,” said Saadeh. “But everyone (on the team) feels like a second family to me.”

Saadeh said her biggest challenge right now in running is more mental than physical.

“I'm always trying to stay positive when I'm on the course and someone passes me,” she said. “I want to be positive not only for myself, but also for the other girls on the team.”

As for school, Saadeh said “math is pretty easy for me.” She hopes to attend the University of Virginia next year and eventually become a urologist, she said.

When she is not training, Saadeh is hitting the books.

“Study,” she replied when asked what she did in her spare time. “I study a lot.”

NOTE: Culpeper County High School coach Kim Williams nominated freshman Kelsey Metcalf.

“Kelsey is a real runner and very competitive,” Williams said. “She trains with the guys a lot and she's a real team leader even though she is a freshman. She ran with us as an eighth grader.

“By the end of the season she will really know what (race strategy) is all about and she could end up as one of the top runners in the district.”

Metcalf, who also plays soccer and basketball, said it was her mom who got her interested in cross country.

“I just started distance running last year,” Metcalf said. “It's good conditioning for soccer. I run so much now that I'm never tired when I'm playing soccer.”

Metcalf said “staying focused” is her biggest challenge doing distance running.

“I like to talk a lot when I run,” she said. “I have to be entertained. It's kind of a boring sport otherwise.”

Metcalf said she enjoys history and math in school and wants to become an oral surgeon.

When she is not playing one of her three sports or studying, Metcalf said she enjoys hanging out with friends and family.

“And sleeping,” she said, laughing. “I've got to fit that in somehow!”

(Editor's note: Throughout the local high school sports season, Culpeper Times will again recognize an “Athlete of the Week” from one of the sports on a rotating basis. This week we feature girls cross country. At the end of the year, the Times will select a male and female athlete at both Culpeper County and Eastern View high schools and recognize them as “Athlete of the Year” at their respective schools.)
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