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Kayla Christopherson

Created: 10/30/2013 6:49 PM KSTP.com

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Kayla Christopherson didn't join the Pacelli cross country team because she necessarily loves to run.

It was another aspect of being on the team that caught her eye.

"When they were doing the football run down to Lyle, we saw them and that really inspired me to run because I really wanted to run the football down," said seventh grader Kayla Christopherson.

It's a good thing she was at that football game because she has turned out to be Pacelli's number one runner. The catch - she's in seventh grade.

"We could see that she had the ability and the talent but she kind of surprised us even more with what she has done so far this year," said head coach Jim Parlin.

Last week, Kayla finished tenth in the Section 1A meet, becoming only the second girl in Pacelli history to qualify for the state meet. 

"It was a very hilly course and I am impressed that I actually got in the top ten," said Christopherson.

But she couldn't have done it without the help of her teammates.

"Any curve that we do, if they are there, they go, go Kayla, and stuff like that and they have really helped me push myself, especially during practices too," said Christopherson.

They'll all be at St. Olaf College next Saturday to cheer Kayla on as she competes for her first state title.

"Something tells me I am going to do super awesome," said Christopherson.

"I think once the gun goes off she'll give it her best shot," said Parlin.