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Riley becomes a Panther

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Riley becomes a Panther

Riley ran during a cross country meet at Clinton High School.

Riley ran during a cross country meet at Clinton High School.

Michael Sampson

Riley ran during a cross country meet at Clinton High School.

Michael Sampson

Michael Sampson

Riley ran during a cross country meet at Clinton High School.

Carli Spelhaug, Sports Editor

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Another Spartan committed to continue their academic and athletic career at the highest collegiate level. Abby Riley chose to continue her running career at the University of Northern Iowa.

Riley found her passion for running when she entered high school. This is also when she started taking both track and cross country seriously, and trained year round in order to be ready for the two seasons. “I wasn’t sure about running in college until I got to high school and I couldn’t imagine life without being a part of a team or running,” Riley said.

Riley has decided to do both cross country and track at the next level due to her being a distance runner. Northern Iowa is a division 1 college in the Missouri Valley Conference. The cross country team was MVC champions in 2016 and the track and field team leads the MVC in academics.

Mallory Lafever, Riley’s teammate for the past six years, explained, “It’s really cool to see that she will be competing at the division 1 level. This has been here goal for so long, and it is a result of all her hard work. I can’t wait to see all that she accomplishes in the next four years.”

In college, the cross country season takes place in the fall and the track season is in the spring, so Riley will be busy all year. Like most people that choose a college, they go where felt right, and that’s exactly what Riley did.

“I chose UNI because I loved how the team felt like a family and Cedar Falls felt like home. I’m excited to meet new people in a new home,” stated Riley. “I can’t wait to tap into some of my untapped potential as a runner and see everything that I can accomplish.”

Riley left her mark at Pleasant Valley by being a 4 year varsity runner in cross country and track. She lead her teams by showing others what it meant to work hard. “Abby is a good runner because of her incredible work ethic. She dedicated herself to the sport throughout the offseason which is why she is always improving. She’s always been extremely competitive and wants to do her best for herself and the team,” Lafever said.  

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Riley becomes a Panther