DURHAM, N.C. - After a stellar weekend, the women's cross country team has earned the top ranking in the southeast region and is ranked 11th nationally. Recently, GoDuke.com sat down senior harrier Kayla Hale to learn more about the Indialantic, Fla., native.
GoDuke.com: What has been your proudest moment at Duke? Kayla Hale: I think 2009, my freshman year, when we placed eighth in nationals. It was a group of people who came to practice every day ready to work really hard and I think we were all just united with the school to do well. It was definitely the proudest moment for me on the Duke team just to see all of our hard work pay off in such a big way, in a way that we weren't necessarily expecting. It is really exciting, because I feel like our team now I feel like our practices this year are similar to the way they were that season.
GoDuke.com: What has been your favorite class at Duke? KH: I have two very different sectors. I took a class last year on C.S. Lewis. It was awesome to do something that I have always wanted to and read all of his books. This semester I am taking human body which is a human cadaver lab and I get very excited about the human heart. I think it is awesome and a very unique experience, not many people in undergrad get to have that kind of experience.
GoDuke.com: Do you have a least favorite class? KH: Organic Chemistry. I took it over the summer, which was six weeks of not fun. I learned that I am not good at organic chemistry.
GoDuke.com: Do you have any hidden talents? KH: I am clearly not very coordinated or talented in other things, since I am a runner. I feel like if you are coordinated you do other things, and if not you run. When I was little, I was really good at the pogo stick, which is really weird. My aunt got me one for Christmas and I started using it and I got really good. I think I pogo sticked over 5,000 times once. It is really kind of boring.
GoDuke.com: What is your favorite spot on campus? KH: I think it depends on what I am doing. Freshman year, I think I was known as the girl who studied sitting on the floor in the hallway. I don't have a traditional study spot. Running, I love being at the forest and the gardens. It is such a pretty campus it is hard to pick just one.
GoDuke.com: Tell us about the time when you first started playing your sport. KH: Growing up, I was definitely more into soccer. I was determined to be the next Mia Hamm. I was around running a lot. My mom ran marathons. I liked to run but it definitely was not my focus. My brother, who is three years older, started running cross country and so I started to be around it a little more. In the sixth grade, I decided to run on the team just for fun. I had no idea that I made the varsity team. Until that day, I never thought I would be a runner. So until I was actually on the team and had a meet the next week, I was like I guess I run now. I think the first couple of years I liked it because I was good at it, and it has developed into so much more. I love running whether I am doing well or I am doing poorly, it is definitely more for the love of the sport. I definitely got accidently put into it.
GoDuke.com: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? KH: I wanted to be everything. I wanted to be a teacher. I was really into teaching, my brother brought home a teaching textbook that a teacher was giving away and it was the greatest present ever. I also really wanted to be a cashier, which I still like the self-check-out. Also, I wanted to be a waitress, I played waitress all the time. Those were definitely some of the things that I remember playing every day, I don't know if that was what I really wanted to end up doing.
GoDuke.com: What do you want to be now? KH: It probably depends on the day. I can see myself happy in a lot of things, which is a good. Now, I love kids, I love the developmental process. I can definitely see myself in nursing after this and probably in pediatrics. That is the direction I am leaning, probably not immediately so I do not know what I will be doing next year. I am kind of excited for a little change, hopefully do something a little different than just being a student-athlete for four years. I don't have it all planned out, which I don't like that but I am excited to see where it leads me.
GoDuke.com: What is your favorite midnight snack? KH: When I wake up in the middle of the night or I can't sleep, and I am hungry it is usually just whatever is in my pantry, which is usually some combination of peanut butter. Whatever is easiest and has peanut butter.
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