Katie Hallstead

BETHALTO - Junior cross country runner Katie Hallstead ran on the girls' team at Civic Memorial High School for the first time in the 2020 season, and had a most successful year, placing 15th in the Madison County meet, and climaxing the year by being one of four Eagle runners who qualified for the IHSA Class 2A sectional meet, coming through with a time of 20:50.05 in the Jacksonville regional to advance, then running a 22:04.10 in the Olney Richland County Sectional Meet.

For the success she enjoyed in her first campaign with the Eagles, Hallstead has been named the Riverbender.com CM female Athlete of the Month for December, 2020.

Hallstead, who ran for head coach Jake Peal, cited her success on the courses as a reason she was selected for the honor.

"This is my first year participating in cross country," Hallstead said, "and I placed in the top 15 in the county, and in the top five individuals at regionals, which allowed me to go to sectionals as an individual."

Hallstead thanked Peal for helping her in journey through her rookie season in cross country.

"I would like to thank Mr. Peal for being such a good and encouraging coach," Hallstead said, "and for helping me through the obstacles of trying a new sport as an upperclassman."

Hallstead thoroughly enjoyed her first year in cross country, and felt it helped her both physically and mentally.

"This is my first season doing cross country, and my favorite part of it was having such a fun and inviting team that also pushed me throughout the season," Hallstead said. "I also loved having Coach Peal as a coach, because he helped me come a long way from summer workouts to where I was at the end of the season. His tough workouts and practices mixed well with his encouraging personality, and helped me develop a lot of strength physically, and mentally as well."

It's that solid work ethic that has helped Hallstead in athletics, and it's also a very valuable lesson that sport has helped to teach her.

"My high school career, and involvement in sports, has helped me develop into the person I am today because it taught me how to work hard in order to accomplish my goals," Hallstead said. "It's taught me how to strive towards a good work ethic in all things I do."

That work ethic has also helped her succeed in the classroom, as Hallstead has been on the high honor roll at CM in every quarter thus far, and she's also tied for first in her class. She also plays for the Eagles' softball team who plays in the outfield and shortstop and also pitches as well. Hallstead also plays select softball, and hasn't yet decided on where she'll go to college or whether she'll play in collegiate athletics. She does plan on majoring in nursing when she does go to college, and also has a twin sister who enjoys the same things as she does.

"I have an identical twin sister named Allison," Hallstead said, "who participates in all the same activities as me. We are best friends and do everything together!"

Riverbender.com's Athlete of the Month program is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors and the cooperation of our area high schools. This is a great accomplishment and one to be very proud of. Please join us in congratulating this young athlete. We at Riverbender.com wish you continued success in your future!

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