Back from ill­ness, surgery, and set­ting records again

Kelly Wesolowski, a se­nior at Here­ford, is prov­ing tough as ever to beat

Baltimore Sun - - SPORTS - By Glenn Gra­ham

The day was quickly turn­ing into night last Jan­uary, but that didn’t stop Kelly Wesolowski from head­ing out for a run.

That it was just a 15-minute jaunt at a gen­tle pace didn’t mat­ter.

Dur­ing the pre­vi­ous 14 months, Wesolowski, a stand­out se­nior on the Here­ford cross coun­try team, had been deal­ing with a bad right foot caused by Freiberg’s dis­ease, a rare form of bone-tis­sue death, in the sec­ond metatarsal. There were crutches, a sur­gi­cal boot and ex­tended rest. Then a set­back, fol­lowed by surgery and more re­cov­ery time for a girl who was al­ways on the go.

Ear­lier that day in Jan­uary, she went to the doc­tor’s of­fice feel­ing ap­pre­hen­sive, as she was all the other times she vis­ited. But this time, the news was all good: She was cleared to run again.

“I was like, ‘Yes!’ and was in the mind­set that I wanted to run a marathon, but ob­vi­ously I couldn’t do that,” Wesolowski said. “I re­mem­ber my mom say­ing, ‘Kelly, you’re so happy. This is the best mood you’ve been in for months,’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I am just so happy.’ [Later dur­ing the Wesolowski

ath­letes want to get back and you kind of have to hold them back a lit­tle bit be­cause they want to get go­ing. But you got to slow novice. She doesn’t have the race ex­per­iIn­vite with a time of 10:47.16. them down to make sure they are healed.” run,] I was in my neigh­bor­hood, it was just ence at that dis­tance in cross coun­try that She con­sid­ered go­ing out for cross Joanne Wesolowski watched her daugh­start­ing to get dark out and it just felt so some­body who is a se­nior and run­ning that coun­try in her sopho­more year but de­cided ter in tears twice over the long and dif­fi­cult amaz­ing.” well typ­i­cally has.” to play another year of soc­cer with the stretch — first at the orig­i­nal news and again

OnOct. 8, about one year af­ter the surgery, What Wesolowski def­i­nitely has is a love chance to play on the var­sity team. Near the when she was told she needed surgery. Wesolowski over­whelmed the 22-team field of run­ning, a ded­i­ca­tion to train­ing and a end of the sea­son, she felt pain on the top of Joanne Wesolowski has also seen her in win­ning the Get­tys­burg (Pa.) In­vi­ta­tional. fierce com­pet­i­tive­ness. The school’s track her foot and fig­ured she just got kicked or re­cently turned 17-year-old daugh­ter be­Com­ing in at 18 min­utes, 7 sec­onds, she coach, Brad Du­vall, dis­cov­ered some­thing stepped on, com­mon in soc­cer. come stronger and show an abil­ity to broke the course record by 17 sec­onds and else her fresh­man year. When the pain per­sisted into the in­door over­come ad­ver­sity. was 34 sec­onds faster than the run­ner-up. He did a pulse dif­fer­en­tial test with the track sea­son, she vis­ited a foot spe­cial­ist, “I couldn’t imag­ine be­ing 15 and deal­ing

In her first sea­son of cross coun­try — she team, which then in­cluded se­nior Sarah Dr. Jef­frey Brodie, and learned it was much with some­thing like that. But she han­dled had pre­vi­ously played soc­cer dur­ing the fall Ash­wood, a three-time state cham­pion in more se­ri­ous. it very well,” Joanne Wesolowski said. “It and then moved on to in­door and out­door the 1,600-me­ter race, tak­ing each run­ner’s Ac­cord­ing to Brodie, who per­formed the was very hard for her, but I think the good track sea­sons ear­lier in her high school pulse be­fore and af­ter a work­out. surgery on Wesolowski, Freiberg’s dis­ease thing in the long run is it makes her re­al­ize ca­reer — she has con­vinc­ingly won two “Five min­utes af­ter the run, Kelly was oc­curs most often in ado­les­cent girls who how pre­cious ev­ery­thing is in her life. I races and placed sec­ond in two oth­ers. al­most back at her rest­ing heart rate. So are ath­letes. It is be­lieved to be caused by think she is very grate­ful she had a re­ally

At the Mile­stat 5K near Rich­mond, Va., while all the other girls were still el­e­vated repet­i­tive mi­cro­trauma: in Wesolowski’s good sur­geon that took care of her and on Satur­day, she took sec­ond and was one of well over 100, she was back in the 70s and case, her run­ning. she’s able to go back to what she loves to nine run­ners who fin­isheddo.”un­der­the80s.It’salmostin­hu­man,”Du­vall­said.“The“Whathap­pen­sis,the­blood­flow­tothat pre­vi­ous course record. Her time of 17:41 re­al­ity is that her car­dio­vas­cu­lar ca­pac­ity is head of the metatarsal di­min­ishes and part Kelly Wesolowski, who main­tains a 3.8 also was the fastest ever by a Here­ford so be­yond any­body I’ve ever coached or of the bone can die. And when that bone GPA and has a grow­ing list of in­ter­ested run­ner — tak­ing 10 sec­onds off the mark set seen in my years of coach­ing.” loses blood sup­ply and dies, the car­ti­lage col­leges, says her foot feels fine and while by 2009 grad­u­ate Kris­ten Mal­loy. Wesolowski grew up play­ing soc­cer and sur­face can ac­tu­ally col­lapse,” Brodie said. Brodie told her it has healed per­fectly, she

There were cer­tainly high hopes for had her mind set on play­ing it in col­lege. But When ex­tended rest did not pre­vent it still thinks about the in­jury re­cur­ring. Wesolowski this fall with the record­she joined a run­ning club dur­ing mid­dle from fur­ther col­laps­ing, Wesolowski Mostly, though, she’s mov­ing for­ward, break­ing suc­cess she en­joyed dur­ing her school and quickly be­came hooked. Her needed surgery. Us­ing a bone graft from her through the trees and up the hills to cross fresh­man in­door and out­door track sea­sons fa­ther, Joe, ran sev­eral marathons, so it was heel, Brodie re­placed the dead part of the the fin­ish line — de­ter­mined to reach it first. and also the fact that she was fi­nally fit to in the blood. bone to al­low blood flow to re­turn in the The same goes for life. train over the sum­mer. As a fresh­man in in­door track, she broke metatarsal head area. “I think men­tally it has re­ally helped me But this much suc­cess and this quickly? the school’s record in the 3,200 me­ters that “When we go in, we take out the bone push through things in life that have “I think we knew all along she had the was es­tab­lished in 1982 and low­ered the that’s not alive and put in this bone with her noth­ing to do with run­ning,” she said.“It’s ca­pac­ity to do this, but you can’t hide when mark two more times be­fore be­ing slowed own cells that helps it to fill in and try to like ‘I was able to get through that which the watch comes out. She re­ally had to show by a ham­string in­jury. Re­turn­ing from the heal and she did great,” Brodie said. “It’s a was a year and some months away from up and do what she can do,” Here­ford cross surgery, she fin­ished sec­ond at the state process that takes a lot of time and pa­tience what I love the most, so I can get through a coun­try coach John Roe­mer said. “She has meet af­ter just a few prac­tices. Dur­ing the to get through be­cause that bone has to heal tough 40-minute test.’ ” been so suc­cess­ful, it’s hard for me to out­door sea­son, she set the school’s 3,200and revas­cu­lar­ize and then we have to re­mem­ber and re­al­ize that she re­ally is a me­ter mark at North County’s Knight slowly al­low this. Often times, young

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