By Chris McCarthy/Editor
After starting since her seventh-grade year, Rae Leach will not be a member of the Westbrook Christian girls soccer team this season.
Leach, however, took home a pretty good consolation prize on last Tuesday (Mar. 4), as the WCS senior agreed to run both track and cross country for Troy University.
As per the Trojans’ request, Leach will leave her cleats in the closet this spring and compete full-time with the Lady Warrior track & field team.
Leach previously received a full academic scholarship to Troy.
Leach admitted that it was a quick turnaround from turning her focus from soccer to track.
“I loved soccer, and I always thought that would be my main sport,” said Leach, who is considering biomedical science as a major.
“But I began to realize that the best thing I liked about soccer was the running. When I found out that we [Westbrook was] going to have a cross country team I wanted to do it.”
Westbrook girls soccer coach Richard Dobbs said that Leach could have played soccer in college, but noted that her passion lies in running.
“Rae’s been one our soccer program’s foundational players,” Dobbs said. “She’s a very smart player who has a lot of ability, but her biggest attribute is her tremendous work ethic, which will translate over to track. We just added cross country this year, so that gave Rae the opportunity home her skills in the area of running.
“Rae’s also a high achiever academically, so that gave her options in regard to college. We’re all very proud of her, and I know she’ll be successful at Troy.”
According to WCS assistant principal and baseball coach Matt Kennedy, Leach is believed to be the first student from Westbrook to receive a track scholarship.
“I took my official visit, and I loved everything about [Troy],” said Leach. “It’s a great feeling, because I didn’t have any of this planned until last year.”