Carmel senior named state’s cross country runner of the year
Carmel High School senior Kelcy Welch was named Gatorade’s Indiana Cross Country Runner of the Year.
During her high school career Welch, the daughter of Carmel residents Vince and Trudie Welch, helped lead Carmel to four consecutive IHSAA cross country championships.
This fall as a senior, Welch was named the IHSAA Individual Cross Country State Champion and also received the IHSAA Mental Attitude Award.
Welch is the only runner – girl or boy – in Indiana high school cross country history to win the individual state title, team state title and mental attitude award in one season.
During her senior year, Welch was MIC champion, regional champion, semi-state champion and state champion.
Welch also won the Footlocker Midwest Championship in Kenosha, Wis., featuring the top runners from 13 states. The victory advanced her to the Footlocker Nationals in San Diego, featuring the top 40 runners in the country. She finished 17th.
She also led her team to the NIKE Nationals in Portland, Ore., where she finished 14th and the team placed 4th.
Welch has maintained a 4.19 GPA in the classroom. Also a devoted member of her church youth group, she serves as a mentor to elementary school students and volunteers locally on behalf of an assisted living facility.
“Kelcy was an inspiration,” said Carmel cross country coach Mark Ellington. “We had high hopes for a strong team this year and expected a good effort from Kelcy, but we weren’t expecting her to be state champion. She’s a very focused person who is very supportive of her teammates, and she has demonstrated great leadership for many years.”
Welch remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.
She’s also now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year award to be announced later this month.