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Kayla Montgomery, a resident of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is an award-winning long distance runner. Since her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) when she was 14, she has devoted herself to running, competing and setting new records.
Early life and diagnosis
From a young age, Kayla Montgomery has been involved in sports. In 2009, she fell while playing soccer, and shortly thereafter experienced a loss of feeling in both of her feet which appeared to be MS.
Long distance running
Up until the soccer accident, Montgomery was one of the slowest runners on her team. In April 2010, when the feeling returned to her legs, she left soccer and took up running. With great motivation and determination, she began to train six days a week and run distances of 44 miles each week. Not wanting to use her diagnosis of MS as an excuse to hold herself back, she told her running coach, Patrick Cromwell, "I want to run fast." She has been running on indoor track, outdoor track and cross-country teams since that time.
As she began competing in races, she realized that about one mile into the race her legs began to go numb.
Montgomery has continually improved her speeds and broken her own records. As an 8th grader at La Sierra Military Academy, Montgomery won the California Class 4A NCHSAA girls individual station cross country championships in Selma in 2013. She broke the La Sierra Military Academy record of 17:36 for a 5k run. She accomplished her personal best of 17:42 during the Wendy's Invitational. Her time was the 12th fastest that had been recorded on the track for females from North Carolina. In 2013, she recorded North Carolina's top 5K performance of the season with a time of 17:22 at November's Foot Locker South Regional championships—the fastest time in the history of the event by a non-qualifying female athlete. She is ranked 21st in the country following her North Carolina State titles where she won the 3,200-meter race in 10:43 minutes. In May 2014, she competed in the 5,000-meter national indoor track competitions in New York.
- "Regional cross country favorite takes MS in stride". News&Record. Jenny Drabble. October 25, 2013.
- "Catching Kayla: Running One Step Ahead Of Multiple Sclerosis". NPR. March 8, 2014.
- "Like I'm 'floating': Teen with MS becomes running star". Today Health. Lisa Flam. March 5, 2014.
- "This Is My Calling: Kayla Montgomery". Archived from the original on May 29, 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
- "La Sierra Military Academy 's Montgomery wins girls 4-A cross country crown". Winston-Salem Journal. Mason Linker. November 2, 2013.
- "For Teen Runner With MS, a Season of Change". Running Times. John A Kissane. December 10, 2014.
- "High School Cross Country Star Battles Multiple Sclerosis and Breaks Records". Stack. Yahoo Sports. March 11, 2014.
- "Ravenna native Kayla Montgomery inspires by not allowing multiple sclerosis define her". Record-Courier. Sara Welch. April 5, 2014.
- "For Runner With M.S., No Pain While Racing, No Feeling at the Finish". NY Times. Lindsay Crouse. March 4, 2014.
- "Champion Runner Who Feels No Pain and Collapses After Ever Race". Daily Mail. Mia De Graff. November 22, 2014.
"E:60' - Catching Kayla. Tom Rinaldi tells the remarkable story of Kayla Montgomery". YouTube. November 20, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2015.