North Polk senior Amelia Lesher plans to keep on running right through college after signing a letter of intent to run both track and cross country for Bradley on Nov. 9 at North Polk High School.
Lesher, the daughter of Roger and Tracey Lesher of Elkhart, has been a standout in both sports throughout her high school career. She competed in four state cross country and three state track meets, with one more season of track to go.
“I am so happy for Amelia that she signed with the Bradley Braves,” North Polk head cross country coach Steve Leach said. “I look forward to reading about her continued improvement over the next four or five years.”
At North Polk, Lesher qualified individually for state cross country three times. Health issues hampered her sophomore season — even though she still got to run at state as part of the team.
Lesher came back with a vengeance her final two season of cross country, placing 20th individually in Class 3A as a junior and 16th as a senior.
On the track, Lesher qualified individually for state in the 1,500-meter run as a freshman. As a sophomore, she made it in the 1,500, 4 X 800 and distance medley, earning school records in both the 1,500 and medley.
In her junior year of track, Lesher qualified in the 1,500 for the third time and got her second go-around in both the 4 X 800 and distance medley. She broke her school record time in the 1,500 and also helped the Comet distance medley team outdo its previous school mark.
“I think it’s impressive what Amelia has done leading up to this point,” North Polk head girls’ track coach Scott Huether said. “She fought through some adversity her freshman and sophomore years, but made it and came back an even stronger runner. I know going on and running at the next level is a big deal to her. I’m so proud of how far she has come.”
Lesher picked Bradley over Missouri State and Southern Illinois.
“I chose Bradley because it is a smaller Division 1 school with high academics and a really great running program,” Lesher said. “They have three distance coaches for cross country and track, which I feel is a huge advantage for the team. I connected really well with the coaches and the girls on the team and felt instantly at home.”
Lesher said she plans on majoring in dietetics, then pursuing a postgraduate physical therapy program.