Making A Contender: Grace Neubert's Continued Excellence

Every successful athlete has unique attributes that make them elite competitors. The Making a Contender series will showcase what makes some of the best Pennsylvania athletes.

Grace Neubert of Elk County Catholic is fresh off a win at the PIAA Foundation meet just last week. Neubert broke 20 minutes in the 5k for the first time, completing the challenging Hershey Parkview course in 19:59.00.

"It was encouraging, I didn't really expect to win, but it was incredible finally getting under 20 and being able to break the tape," said Neubert. "It put in perspective what I can accomplish at states, and hopefully, I can improve on the Hershey course."

Watch Neubert win the 1A race above.

However, this past weekend's race wasn't Neubert's first time on the big stage. Last fall, she earned a 5th place medal in the 1A state cross country championship. Neubert ran a 20:13.00, setting a season-best time and proving she has what it takes to compete with the best 1A runners in the state.

Neubert has carried last season's success into this fall and focuses on her goals to keep that momentum going. She stated, "I'm working on lowering my times and putting forth a positive mindset for myself and teammates, as well as finishing the season strong and on a high note."

That all sounds great on paper, but goals require actions. The habits that makeup Neubert's lifestyle and her mindset toward running are those actions needed to push her to the top.

"I'm prioritizing the right sleep, healthy nutrition, staying hydrated, and making sure that I am taking care of myself," she listed. "I focus on the fact that it's hard and painful in the moment, but all of the grueling workouts and long runs will pay off."

Running is a sport that requires a lot more than just working hard at practice. Emphasizing sleep and what she's putting into her body allows Neubert to push herself when she trains and races. Neubert's success makes sense when looking at where her focus is.

Outside of running, Neubert is a very involved individual. From working as a lifeguard during the summer to traveling to Greensboro, North Carolina, with her youth group, Neubert is a great role model for giving back to others. If that's not a lot, she is also involved with various organizations at her school, such as Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), Students for Life, and Envirothon.

Neubert has the makings of a true Pennsylvania contender. Keep an eye on her as she forges ahead this season.