Amanda Aerts – East Butler Cross Country
Cross Country, Basketball, Track
Band, Choir, Future Farmers of America, Future Business Leaders of America, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, National Honor Society, Speech
State Cross Country Medalist, All-Conference Basketball, All-State Honorable Mention Basketball, State Track Champion (1600), State Speech Champion
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There’s little left for Amanda Aerts to prove anymore. The long list of achievements next to her name is proof enough of her quality in sports, speech and academics. Yet, while it’s an impressive list, and many might be satisfied with the list, Aerts feels like she still has more to accomplish, namely, a cross country state championship.
“There’s this goal that I’ve had since I was little – winning state cross country and winning state track,” Aerts said. “Once you have that goal, it’s like, ‘Oh my God, I have to get it.’”
Aerts has had to rethink that somewhat after an injury-filled career claimed last track season as its latest victim. Aerts was told she wouldn’t be able to run for six months, or, pretty much all of the cross country season. She disagreed, had surgery and began a strict five-times-a-day physical therapy routine shortly after. Now, she’s down to one session a day and just recently completed her first 6-mile run since February. Aerts is one of eight in her family, number seven to be exact, and comes from a long line of accomplished siblings. Her brother Anthony won a cross country title in 2005 and was the 3200-meter track champ in 2006. Her sister Cassie was the 1600 and 3200 runner-up. That sounds like more added pressure, but Aerts said the family is all about support and encouragement. As she works her way back into a rhythm, that will be more important than ever.
“You break it down more into smaller goals. Right now, it’s about, let’s try and stay with the people who usually race you, try to get back into those times, and I’ll take it one at a time,” she said. “But, for the most part, if you have a goal, just go get it, and that’s what I’m going to do.”