Noah Valyo strives to put cross country and track team on the radar

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Photos by Morgan DeYoung

Noah Valyo, sophomore, running in an invitational track meet which was held at the WakeMed soccer park running the 5k (3.1 miles) against other student athletes in Wake County.

Noah Valyo is a student athlete who runs track and cross country here at Athens. Valyo has been running track for about four years starting in 7th grade. He began his track career because all of his friends would talk about running and did it but Valyo did not at the time. Valyo was very intrigued by the sport and decided to try it and has not looked back since. He has come a very long way since starting in middle school.

“I run because my friends liked running, so I thought I would give it a try and I have never looked back since,” said Valyo.

Valyo likes being able to run around with his friends outside and see everything outside. Valyo can be described as very competitive by other kids on the team.

His accomplishments that he has attained so far in his two years of highschool can be attributed to his competitiveness. In his freshman year,  Noah ran the 1600 (roughly 1 mile) in 4:33.55. With this time, he qualified to run in the Nike nationals in Eugene, Oregon. He ran the mile and got a 4:28 time which got him 10th in the nation as a freshman. Valyo got to experience what it is like running in a college stadium at the University of Oregon.

After the Nike nationals Valyo was determined to improve his record. He worked out everyday, running every morning, during the summer with hopes of becoming a faster runner and grabbing the attention of college coaches.

His summer training broadened his capabilities. This year, Valyo competed in the 4A state track meet championship and ran a 9:33 2 mile, breaking his own record and getting 5th in the state out of 8 other finalists competing in the championship. Not only did he run in the track state championship but Valyo also ran in the cross country state championship and ran 3 miles in 16:20. Valyo says he has been putting in the work and has seen results and wonders how far he can take this.

“I always try to do my best at whatever it is I am doing. If it happens to be track then I’m going to put the effort to get to where I want to,” said Valyo.

Allison Cornelius is the coach of the track and cross country teams here at Athens. She admires the way Valyo encourages his teammates while they are on the track, even while he is not participating. 

“Noah works really hard,” she said, “he always does what we want him to do.”

Valyo is taking his career in cross country very seriously and is planning to take his talents over to a university after high school. He has two dream schools where he would like to run: NC State University and UNC Chapel Hill. However, he would take any good opportunity to fulfil his dreams in cross country and track. Once he has become a junior, Valyo will be eligible for colleges to contact him. Valyo hopes to achieve these goals and will continue his running career here at Athens hoping to grab the attention of colleges. 

“I hope I grab the attention of colleges and compete at the next level and hope to get a full ride for college,” said Valyo.