Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Caroline Parsley, a cross-country and track standout at Edmonson County High School, signed with Kentucky Wesleyan College today to further her running career.
Joined by a host of family members, friends, coaches, and teammates, Caroline thanked everyone in attendance today in the ECHS auditorium.
"Since I started running, I can remember each of you, at least once, watching me doubled-over at the end of the finish line, you know, after I gave it my all in the race," she said. "I honestly never thought I'd be running or even competing at a Division II level, or even being a college athlete, but I joined cross-country in the 8th grade and it just took off. It's something I love and I can't wait to see what the next four years hold for me. I'm excited to have all you all with me at Owensboro to cheer me on. I'm just really excited and I'm extremely thankful for each of you and I really appreciate it."
Brad Meredith, head coach for ECHS cross country and track, said the time had flown by since Caroline first expressed interest in running back in middle school.
"I remember when Caroline told me she first wanted to run," he said. "She was in middle school and she was sitting in the bleachers at a morning meeting and she said to me, 'coach, I think I want to run cross-country,' so I gave her a hug and said 'that's the best decision you ever made.'"
Coach Meredith discussed some of her accolades, which include both All-Region, Regional Champion.
"She's done everything you could ask for, for us," he said. "I'm excited for her. This is going to continue her running career to college and I'm excited for whatever career path she chooses, she's going to be successful in whatever she does. She's that type of person."
Caroline will run both cross-country and track for the Panthers.
She is the daughter of Brian and Heather Parsley of Chalybeate.