North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
ARTS AND FEATURES ™
Senior Melanie Kulesz runs during the Outdoor Conference 2013 5K.
Photo by Adrian Etheridge - Contributing Photographer
Cross country senior reminisces on final season at UNCA
cscrugg I ^unca.edu - Multimedia and
Melanie Kulesz expresses sadness
about finishing her final semester on
UNC Asheville’s cross country team.
Kulesz said she will graduate in De
cember with a bachelor’s degree in
business management with a minor in
“I only have two days left as a college
athlete. It’s just so sad. I never thought
this day would come. I’ve wanted this
season to go by so slowly because I just
did not want it to end,” Kulesz said.
Kulesz nearly won at the conference
meet, one of the
meets all year.
she could not
force her body
to perform the
way she want
“It was al
most a dream
come true be
cause I actually
almost won, which is a huge. I never
thought that would happen. I led the
whole race, and then I ended up col
lapsing like three times before the fin
ish, with 100 meters to go. I can’t be
lieve that happened,” Kulesz said.
According to Kulesz, the course
boasts a high level of difficulty, the
hardest she has faced. Near the end,
with a 40 meter lead, she had an enor
mous uphill ahead of her, which the
team referred to as “suicide hill.”
“I was feeling so great the whole race
I just remember going up the hill and I
was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe
I’m in the lead right now,’ and I was
powering up the hill,” Kulesz said.
On the way down, Kulesz said she
remembers trying to keep herself from
falling on her wobbly legs. Reassuring
herself her legs hurt because she was
nearing the end of the race and just ran
up an enormous hill, she told herself
over and over just to finish.
“And then I was just like, ‘finish, fin
ish, finish,’ and then my legs complete
ly gave out once, so I kinda crawled,
got back up and ran 10 more meters
and fell again. I fell like three times, I
was kind of losing vision, but I ended
up finishing 14th. At least I finished,
but it was really, really disappointing,”
The team ended up placing third, but
they were only two points from second.
According to Kulesz, first was a bit of
a longshot, though she said they went
in hoping to win, something they have
never been able to say before in her ath-
See RUNNER page 6