KANSAS CITY, Mo. — St. Teresa's Academy senior Amelia Arrieta changed course her senior year, joining the school's cross country team.
"The track distance girls convinced her to come out for cross country," said coach Karen Moran Redlich.
It's hard to determine who was more shocked by Arrieta's talent, her coach, teammates or herself.
"My first 5K race, it was like, I'm really here now, this is it," Arrieta said.
Saturday was Arrieta's fourth time running a 5K race. Her finishing time was the fastest ever run on the course and the fastest time run by a Missouri female since 2015.
"When I crossed that finish line, I didn't know what my time was," Arietta said. "And someone was saying, 'Oh you broke 18.' And I was like, 'No, I was above 18 last week,' and then I saw they had the huge score board, and I was like, 'Oh my gosh.'"
Arrieta ran the 5K in 17 minutes and 24 seconds, a five minute and 36 second mile pace.
"I think all around, just the degree of her improvement is incredible," Redlich said.
There's a few things that Arrieta says motivates her — that's her teammates and food at the finish line.
"Almost every race we have Einstein Brothers or Panera or something," she said. "A parent usually brings bagels. My personal favorite is the everything bagels, and one meet they didn't have any, and I was like, 'Man,' so I made sure I had my friend bring some."
Arrieta has a number of division one schools recruiting her, and the one that brings her bagels just might be the school she decides to sign with.