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Derrick Mahone/Douglas County Sentinel Douglas County freshman McKenna Croft had a time of 11:55 to win the 3,200-meters at the Region 5-AAAAAA Track and Field Championship at Lakewood Stadium.

ATLANTA - McKenna Croft admits that it does get hard at times balancing track, soccer and academics, but the Douglas County freshman has seem to find the right balance.

Croft has been a standout in both sports this spring.

“She is pretty amazing,” Douglas County track and field coach Chet Forsh said.

And that might be an understatement.

Croft is a member of the soccer team that finished third in the region and qualified for next week’s state playoffs.

All the while, she has squeezed in enough time to train for track. Croft won the 3,200-meters on Thursday evening at Lakewood Stadium to qualify for next week’s Class AAAAAA Sectional meet.

She had a time of 11 minutes, 55.64 seconds. On Tuesday, she had a time of 5:32.65 to finish runner-up at the Region 5-AAAAAA meet.

“I do some training for track at soccer practice,” Croft said. “It is hard because I’m in the IB program at Douglas County so I have to really budget my time. It is hard trying to be balance.”

She said she never considered let one of the sports go.

“I love them both, so I will keep doing it,” Croft said. “I’ve been playing soccer since I was four and running is a passion that I have. I really don’t want to chose one over the other.”

While a student at Brighten Academy, Croft played club soccer. Once she got to Douglas County this school year, she decided to join the cross country team.

It proved to be a good move as Croft won the Region 5-AAAAAA title in cross country and placed seventh at the state meet.

“It was pretty exciting to win region,” she said. “I really didn’t know much about running so coach Forsh has been good at working with me on my technique. I really enjoy running. I really give all I have in running.”

And that competitive nature has shown on the soccer field and on the track.

“She has a real big ticker,” Forsh said. “She is such a competitor and that is what I really like about her. She is a good person that really listens to what you are teaching.”

Forsh said the sky is the limit for her because of her competitive nature. He also smiles when he thinks how good she would be concentrating just on track.

“There is no telling how good she would be,” he said. “She just does track part time and she is a region champion in cross country, track and finished seventh in the state.”

Alexander and Mays amassed 161.5 points to tie for the region championship and Douglas County finished third with 100 points. New Manchester got 71 points to place fourth at the meet.

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