By Amanda Foust
Two young, Carmel athletes were honored as Athletes of the Year by USA Track and Field Indiana Jan. 16. Among the 33 athletes honored were Macie DeLillo, a fifth grader at Mohawk Trails Elementary School, and Anna Christie, a seventh grader at Clay Middle School.
At the runner’s awards celebration, Molly Ludlow of Indianapolis was the guest speaker. Ludlow represented Team USA in Beijing at the IAAF World Championship and is one of the 2016 Olympic team members in the 800m. Terry Brahm, a 1988 Olympian of Indianapolis, was the master of ceremonies.
Both DeLillo and Christie have competed in the Carmel Distance Project, an offseason running club, and Carmel Pups. The foundation built by these youth clubs has allowed these two athletes to develop a strong love for running that matches their talents.
Twelve-year-old Christie, who won the girls 11-12 Athlete of the Year, has been running since fourth grade. Winner of both the Indiana and Region 7 Junior Olympic titles; she also finished eleventh in the Indiana Middle School Championships and third in the Hamilton Co. Middle School Championships.
“Running allows me to push myself to my limit, and I like to push myself and improve,” Christie said.
She said she also enjoys recreational soccer, reading and spending time with family. Although she joined the team reluctantly at first, as her times improved she discovered a greater interest in the sport and plans to continue running.
DeLillo, 10, won the Girls 9-10 Athlete of the Year honor. She has been running for three years. She said one of her favorite races was a 3K she ran at Carmel Middle School. Of the 200 girls competing, DeLillo placed second.
“Running is fun, because I get to run with other people such as my sister and get better together,” she said, “I like going fast.”
DeLillo is a part of the school’s challenge program and said she enjoys science. She also swims competitively and said she plans to run with her sister in middle school next year.