Carly Wilkes’ goals and humility lead to success

GLENVAR, Va. – A well-rounded student with a well-rounded aptitude in multiple sports.

“Yes, I did all the recreational sports when I was little and I excelled in most of them because I was fast.”

Being fast led Carly Wilkes to put her best foot forward on the racetrack and cross-country. She excelled in middle school, and when she got to high school, Wilkes began setting goals.

“I remember in first grade I was talking to my parents like, ‘Do you think I can possibly get a state title? I really want at least a state title,'” Wilkes said.

That dream is now a reality as she holds nearly two dozen state VHSL titles, not just in track and cross country. Wilkes is also a state champion swimmer for the Highlanders.

“It was really fun to earn them individually and also to be part of a team and to be able to help us win several together as well,” Wilkes said.

“I think swimming has been a big help for her. She was on the swim team for all 4 years, I think, but it goes hand in hand,” Wilkes cross country and track and field coach Amanda Spradlin said.

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While the COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted the careers of many of our local student-athletes, not Carly Wilkes. Rather than sticking to her lane, she created her own — reaching out to college coaches for training tips on how to perfect her craft.

“Carly took it upon herself to continue training on her own and I think that made all the difference,” Spradlin said.

This spirit of self-motivation led to his commitment to Furman University.

“Furman’s coaches reached out to me and seemed really invested in me,” Wilkes said.

With the VHSL State Finals this week and the New Balance National Championships to follow, Wilkes leaves six simple yet motivating words.

“I would say just keep loving what you do.”

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