ASHLAND Kaylee Robinson possesses foot speed, academic achievement and personality — all in abundance.

On Friday, Ashland’s senior sprinter made her college plans official. Robinson signed a letter of intent with Berea to the applause of family, teammates, friends and school officials in the Blazer cafeteria.

While enjoying her big day, she also called it nerve-racking.

“I guess why I feel so anxious is because so much excitement is going through my body,” said Robinson, breaking into one of her big smiles.   

New Berea head track and field coach Shawn Jakubowski views Robinson as the caliber of athlete to build a team around.

She set personal bests across the board as a junior and scored in all four of her events at last year’s Class 2A state meet. Robinson finished eighth  in 100-meter dash, seventh in 200; and sixth in 400 and 4 x 400 relay after winning three regional titles.

“During track season she eats, lives and breathes it,” said second-year Ashland coach Phillip Caudill. “Kaylee is fiercely competitive. She’s a very positive person, and a team-oriented person.”

In addition to her natural speed, Caudill said Robinson benefited greatly from an increased work load last season. She ran the 400 meters on a regular basis and consistently competed in four events at meets.

“It gave her the stamina and endurance,” Caudill said.   

What she lacks in size — just over 5 feet tall — Robinson makes up for, in large part, with a strong determination to succeed. Kevin Stepp, her high school coach from eighth to 10th grades, says Robinson made herself a college athlete by sheer force of will after other athletes began to catch up to her at an earlier age.

Robinson, who works with a trainer, owns school individual records in the 55 and 60 meters, along with the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays.  

By the end of her senior season, she also hopes to hold individual marks in the 100, 200 and 400.

“She’s not far off any of them,” Caudill said.

Ashland returns everybody who competed in the 2015 state meet and brought home an 11th place team finish.

“I’m just blessed, having a good group of girls,” Caudill said. “Kaylee gets excited about individual accomplishments, but she’s more excited about the team.”

Robinson, a 4.0 student, is active in several school clubs as well as being a member of the National Honor Society.  

“I’d like to thank my mom,” Kaylee said of Jill Robinson. “She’s been very influential in my life. She really pushes me to my limit.”   

Robinson chose Berea after also making visits to Thomas More, located in northern Kentucky, and University of the Cumberlands.

“It’s been an extraordinary journey,” Robinson said. “Berea is the one I fell most in love with. Everyone there has been so nice and welcoming. It felt like a good community to meet new people.”

Her projected field of study is exercise science.

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