Nobody had ever heard of her, It's like she came out of nowhere. As a senior, Emily Cole came out hitting hard during the Fall cross country season.
It was at the beginning of the year that she competed against the best teams and the best individual runners the state of Texas had to offer at one of the best meets in the state. At the Marcus I Invitational, Cole finished ninth over all with an 18:13 5K.
Although Texas is a huge state, there really are very few secrets when it comes to who the best runners are. Cole came in and made an impact immediately.
Nobody knew who she was and what she was capable of, it was like she came out of nowhere. Except she didn't. Cole was at Klein all along.
Cole has run track and cross country for four years, except she just wasn't a runner and didn't put the focus and attention on running as she had been involved in many extracurricular events. Throughout her high school career, she participated in several sports both spring and fall with volleyball and basketball as well as accumulating several academic honors.
This year....not the case, as she focused on running. Putting in the time and miles in the off season is what transformed her into the runner that she is today. Cole went from a 21:30 5K PR to running sub 19 minute 5Ks for the entire season, helping to lead her Klein squad to the UIL 6A state meet.
The trip to the 2018 state cross country meet was supposed a fun team trip with both girls and boys teams qualifying and Cole having a legitimate opportunity at running for a state title and All-State honors.
The state meet was every bit of memorable , but not for the the expected reasons. Friday night before the state meet, Cole got sick, "On the way to state I wasn't feeling well, I just wasn't feeling like myself," she said.
Nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and headaches and confusion were raining down on the Klein star the night before what she had been working for all season long.
The situation went from not feeling well one minute to rapidly turning into a dire situation, "I had to be taken to the emergency room," Cole said. At a local Ausin area hospital, she was diagnosed with Hyponatremia, having an extremely low sodium level in the blood flow, causing cells to swell.
In other words, Cole drank too much water. Instead of being dehydrated as many athletes are, she had drank too much water and did not consume enough sodium.
Already having the classic symptoms, the situation could still have gone from bad to worse. Cramps and muscle spasms, irritability and restlessness, and even seizures or coma can result from Hyponatremia, including death. Cole had a hospital stay of several days, prohibiting her from competing with her team at the state meet.
However, that wasn't the end of things as Cole would bounce back and recover. In December, she wrapped up her college recruiting. Although, she was unable to compete at state, the months of hard work she put in to focus on running had paid off and now it was time to focus on the Spring.
The focus her attention on the Spring track and field season allowed her to start it just like she started off the 2018 cross country season, she hit the ground running for the 2019 track and field season.
At the Texas A&M High School Indoor Classic, she dropped a 5:05.09 PR in the 1 mile for third place overall. When outdoors started, it was more of the same as she opened up in February with a 17:52.71 5K at the Katy Seven Lakes Relays and then a 7:08.80 in the 2,000 Steeplechase at the Sam Mosely Relays, both for PRs.
When the end of the season rolled around, she qualified for regionals in two individual events. At the Region 2-6A Meet, Cole ran PRs in the 1600m (4:54.56) and the 3200m (10:29.08) for two top two finishes and guarantees to the UIL 6A state meet.
Unlike the cross country state meet months earlier, Cole would get the opportunity to compete and she would make the best of it as she ran even faster with her 10:28.13 and bronze medal finish in the 3200m followed by a 4:50.68 for fourth place in the 1600m.
This weekend, at the 2019 TTFCA Meet of Champions, Cole looks to continue her outstanding senior year and her redemption from the ending of the cross country season. She will be competing in the 2,000 Steeplechase where she will be shooting for the Texas state meet record of 6:56.77 set last year, by Adoette Vaughan from Hockaday.
While Cole's light has only shined for a short time, it has been bright from day one and hasn't been any brighter than it currently is. Watch to see if she can get a win and state record in the 2,000 Steeplechase at the TTFCA Meet of Champions tomorrow.