Kendra Kelley Has Something To Defend

Kendra Kelley, Class of 2019 - Cloquet High School

What are all your personal records? What State Meet competitions have you been in?

100 meter: 12.14
200 meter: 24.60
400 meter: 58.38
Long jump: 19' 
400 meter split: 56.1 

I have been competing at the State Meet since 8th grade (2015-2018). In 2015, I ran the 100m and placed 6th in the 200m. That following year, I placed 9th in the 100m and 6th in the 200m. My sophomore year I ran the 100m and 200m, placing 3rd in both, and qualified in the long jump and 4x400m relay. This past year I competed in the long jump placing 8th, the 100m with a runner-up finish, and was the 200m State Champion. 


How did you first get involved with track? Do you do, or have you done, any other sports?

I am a three-sport athlete, playing soccer basketball, and running track. In both my junior and senior soccer seasons I was the leading goal scorer in the state of Minnesota and was nominated first team all-state both years. I finished my career with 133 goals in five varsity seasons. In basketball, I have been on the varsity team since 8th grade. I'm currently 11 points away from 1,000. 

My track and field career started in elementary school gym class. I would race my classmates and have so much fun doing it. I knew it was something I wanted to continue. 


What is your favorite or most memorable competition you've ever been in?

My most memorable competition was the 2018 State Meet when I won my first title in the 200 meter dash after making finals for the past four years. It was an amazing experience and it felt great that all of the hard work paid off.


What was it like to win the State Championship in the 200m last year? Was it something that you expected, or did it come as a surprise?

It was an indescribable feeling. I knew in the back of my mind I had it in me and that it was just a matter of when, but when it actually happened I couldn't believe what I had accomplished. 


Tell me one of your favorite track memories.

During the 4x400, my whole team gathers on the infield with a huge lumberjack flag to cheer. Whether I'm running the event or not, it's one of my favorite parts of a competition. 


Who are some of your favorite athletes to compete against (either teammates or from other reams)?

I am lucky to have great competition that helps me improve and makes the races fun to be part of. A few people I know pretty well are Shaliciah Jones, Kinga Mozes, and Faith Robinson


Who are some people that have been most helpful to you in your athletic career, and how have they helped you?

I have been so blessed to have to support system I do. Both my parents Pat and Melissa Kelley have been incredibly supportive. My coaches, Tim Prosen, Dan Jago, Dale Flanke, Michell Wick and Jeff Leno are a big part of my success. 


Who might we find cheering for you at competitions?  

You can almost always find my parents and grandparents in the stand. All of the Cloquet parents are very supportive of other athletes. It's a great family to be part of.


How do you work to overcome challenges?

When I face a challenge, I try to focus on what I can control instead of what I can't. 


What are your main goals for this track season?

I hope to do what I did last season, if not more. I hope to defend my state title in the 200 meter, improve my marks in the 100 meter and long jump, and try to send a relay down to the state meet this year. 


What are you and your teammates looking forward to the most this year?

I think we are all just super excited to compete and be together again. It's always such a fun environment to be in. We all are about each other and love track and field. 


You just recently announced your commitment to run at NDSU. What was the recruiting process like for you and what ultimately helped make your final decision?

My recruiting process actually has started with soccer when I was a going into my sophomore year. But as I started to develop more and more as a track and field athlete, I knew I wanted to run. The recruitment process is definitely long and crazy, but I just focused on what would make me successful and gave me the best opportunities for my major. NDSU met everything I was looking for: great program, coaches, school, and people. 


Do you have any rituals, routines, or superstitions either on or off the track?

I always listen to music.


When not doing anything track-related, what might we find you doing?

If I'm not on the track, you'll probably find me in lifting weights, playing another sport, hanging with friends, or doing homework. I involve myself in a lot of activities. I do the fall musical, student council, National Honor Society, youth coaching, and more. 


What advice would you give to younger athletes, or athletes just starting out in track?

If one event doesn't work, try another! Track has something for everyone.


Do you have any specific advice or tips for running the sprint events or long jumping?

Focus on form! It will help you in the long run. 


Tell me one bizarre fact about yourself.

I know the entire Disney movie Hercules by heart.