By Rob Kiser
Piqua distance runner Kenna Bell has been making the Piqua cross country and track and field teams a brighter place for four years with that smile that never leaves her face.
Now, Piqua’s loss when she graduates will Defiance College’s gain.
Bell, the daughter of Scott Bell and Amanda Haney, signed her letter of intent to run for Defiance recently in the Piqua High School commons.
“I have never seen a kid with better sportsmanship or a nicer kid,” Piqua girls track and field coach Courtney Downs said. “Kenna has gotten every booster award there is to get.”
Piqua girls cross country coach Kyle Bowman couldn’t agree more.
“It is always exciting to have someone run at the next level and it validates what we are doing athletically at Piqua,” Bowman said. “Kenna (Bell) is just a great kid. She is a role mode for a lot of the younger runners. She comes to practice every day with a smile on her face. You couldn’t ask for a better kid or role model.”
And Bell made her college choice for the right reason.
She will be going into the McMasters Program for Advancing Humanity.
“They have the McMasters program,” Bell said. “It is something that will give me the opportunity to travel the world.”
Bowman said Defiance is a great choice for Bell.
“I have coached her for two years,” he said. “Defiance is a great fit for her and her best running is definitely in front of her.”
And Downs was certainly excited about the choice.
“That’s where I ran at,” Downs said with a smile. “Defiance is a great school and Kenna (Bell) is going to love it there. They have everything she could want and they have the McMasters Program which will allow her to do a lot of traveling if she wants.
“People forget, Kenna played soccer her freshman year. She didn’t run cross country. She came out as a freshman in track and found out she loved. She has been improving ever since. She had a few injury issues early in the year, but she is back on track. I definitely think she is going to continue to improve at Defiance.”
Bell has always enjoyed running.
“I have always loved running,” she said. “But, I wasn’t sure (she would get the opportunity in college). It depended how my senior year went. I definitely feel like my best running is in front of me.”
She said there is something special abou distance running.
“It is a stress relief and right now it completes me,” she said. “It is exciting to have the opportunity (to run at the college level).”
And make Piqua’s loss, Defiance’s gain.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.