Kristen Langrill feels fully confident for the first time in 15 months.
The Littlestown junior missed all of last track & field season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee in a soccer game in January 2015, with the exception of jogging the 100 dash in a symbolic move at the Thunderbolts' final dual meet.
Setbacks littered her recovery process since then, but her performance at Friday's Adams County Invitational in Gettysburg restored her confidence. She placed second behind New Oxford's Ayanna Johnson in the 100 and 200 dash, and was part of two medal-winning Littlestown relays.
“I wanted to do well, but I never expected to win any medals,” Langrill said with a wide smile. “I feel like I have full confidence back getting these medals. I’ve never gotten a medal (at an invitational), I’m really happy about it.”
Langrill started running at full speed last summer but said she didn't feel fully physically healthy until two weeks before the start of the season. In the past year, she's dealt with pulled groin, back and hamstring muscles in her right side as she practiced and rebuilt strength from her ACL surgery.
She gave up soccer and joined the cross country team last fall to regain her endurance and worked all winter through the fear of getting hurt again, all in effort to reach 100 percent for the sport she's most passionate about.
Her time in the 100 dash - 13.46 - and 200 dash - 27.87 - on Friday both eclipsed the District 3 AA qualifying standard. She reached districts in the 400 relay her freshman year, but has never qualified in an individual event.
“I wanted to give up at times, but the reward isn’t as great without the struggle," Langrill said. "Getting to districts would mean so much more this year than it did my freshman year. I wouldn’t change anything.”