Don’t blink, because you might miss the race, for the athletes in Ada run as though there is chocolate cake at the finish line.

Don’t blink, because you might miss the race, for the athletes in Ada run as though there is chocolate cake at the finish line. 

For Plainview’s Kyleigh Norris though, running fast has always been second nature for her dating back to her days as a member of the Lady Indians cross country and track teams. 

These days, Norris is still using her greatest weapon in both sports, only now she is doing it for East Central University as a member of the Lady Tigers squads. 

This fall, the former Plainview standout will begin her junior year of college, where she is majoring in business. 

“My first two years at ECU have been a blast. I am so glad that I chose to come here,” Norris said.

“The team is definitely a tight-knit family, and we are all so close. One of the biggest things that I love the most, is that everyone encourages each other, whether it is during a practice or a race. The girls on my team have become my forever sisters, and for that, I’m so thankful.” 

Norris began running in the fourth grade thanks to Plainview High School coach, Jerry Naylor.

It was the start of what would become a stellar career as a Lady Indians athlete. 

Norris would go on to be apart of the 2013 and 2014 state championship cross country teams, as well as the 2014 state champion track team for the Plainview girls. 

She was also a four time All-State member in cross country, finishing her senior year as a runner-up in the two mile at state. 

There, she also set a personal record in the mile with a time of 5:25.

Norris was also third individually in the 2013 state cross country championships, and earned All-State honors in track and field in 2014 as part of the 3200 meter relay team. 

As for college, not much has changed for Norris, at least when it comes to an accomplishment standpoint.

During the 2017 season, Norris helped the Lady Tigers claim the Great American Conference Runner-Up title in cross country, and was a First Team All-GAC selection in cross country. She ran in five team races that season, and ran in the 1,500 meter run with a season best time of 5:06.82.  

She also placed First Team All-Conference this past season. 

“I ran in some elementary races, but it wasn’t until I started doing good in the fourth and fifth grade that coach Naylor told my dad that he saw potential in me,” Norris said.  

“He pushed me past my limit when I thought I could never make it that far.” 

“I will always be thankful for coach Naylor and his chewing out that I needed to get my butt in gear,” Norris added. 

“I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for him. He made my dream of being a collegiate athlete possible. There are no amounts of ‘thank you’s’ that will ever be enough for this. My goal is to get top ten at conference all four years during my college career.” 

A strong coach-athlete relationship can be the determining factor for the success of the team, something ECU coach Steve Sawyer embraces within his athletes.

“He is amazing at what he (Steve Sawyer) does, and I’m so happy that I have him training me,” Norris said. 

“Even though running in college has been tougher than in high school, he has definitely helped me push through the difficulties of it all.” 

“When running at the collegiate level, you can hate it, but then love it at the same time,” Norris added. 

“It has certainly shaped me into the person I am today. It has been an exciting journey seeing what I can do, and without God giving me this amazing ability, I wouldn’t be able to participate in the sport I have competed in for years. I am really happy I chose to run in college. A lot of people think I’m crazy because of all of the hours and training that I put into this sport, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.”