SHORT GAP - Frankfort senior Kayla Grose loves volleyball, so much so that it's the sport she's poured the most training time and energy into.
By Chapin Jewell
SHORT GAP - Frankfort senior Kayla Grose loves volleyball, so much so that it’s the sport she’s poured the most training time and energy into.
She plays volleyball for Frankfort High School and once the high school season is over, throughout the winter and into spring, joins the WVYVC travel volleyball squad. Once spring hits, you’ll find Grose running track for Frankfort, participating in events like hurdles, sprints, the long jump among others.
You won’t be the only one to find Grose in a Frankfort track uniform, rest assured college scouts have already beat you to it. “It wasn’t until this past year when I started to get recruited by so many colleges and just speaking with all the coaches for track that I truly realized that track would be the best sport for me to continue my athletic career in,” Grose explains.
College scouts wouldn’t be the first to recognize Kayla’s track and field talents. It turns out the credit for that first goes to her sixth grade physical education teacher, Dennis Mickey. According to Grose, “Mr. Mickey saw my running potential and he also knew that my mom was a gifted runner in high school, so he encouraged me to run in the Katie DeRosa middle school meet which is held annually for all the area schools to compete in. I ended up winning the 100-meter and 200-meter dash that year and have been running track every year since.”
Kayla’s pedigree is one of athleticism. Her mother, Mary Ann, won four state track championships while also competing for the Falcons, and began a track career in college before being sidelined with an injury. Her father, Myrle, played collegiate baseball at Coastal Carolina University. You’ll find his name notched into the “best hitters” list as he finished with a career .367 batting average for the Chanticleers.
It’s in the genes, you might say. But pedigree alone won’t get the job done, it takes dedication and hard work to get to the next level, and the next level is where she is headed. On Monday, surrounded by her parents, her brother Garrett, Frankfort track coaches Bill Cessna and Tim Haines, and principal Joe Riley, Kayla Grose signed a letter of intent to continue her track and academic careers at West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Her accolades are many, and she still has her senior track season remaining. As a freshman, Grose, while predicted for an eight place finish, finished fourth in the 300 meter hurdles at the West Virginia State Track Meet.
As a sophomore, there were first place finishes in the PVC and region in the 100, 200, and 300-meter hurdles, along with an AMAC championship in the 300 meter hurdles. She went on to finish third at the state track meet in the 300-meter hurdles and fifth in the 200-meter dash.
Then came a junior season that saw her repeat her PVC championships in the 100, 200, and 300-meter hurdles, also adding long jump to that list. Once again, she won the AMAC championship in the 300 meter hurdles, adding long jump to that list as well. Grose won regional championships in the 100 and 300-meter hurdles as well as long jump. At the West Virginia State Track Meet, she finished second in the 300 meter hurdles, fourth in the 100 meter dash, and fifth in the long jump.
Grose looks to build on these successes during this, her senior season. Grose has a plan to improve her already impressive finishes, a plan that involves track-specific off-season training, a first for Grose. “This year I started an off-season strength and conditioning program and am hoping that it really pays off in my performances this spring,” Grose explained.
Beside her on this journey, always, are her parents Mary Ann and Myrle, who she calls her biggest supporters. You can also add coach and trainer to that list. According to Grose, “My mom has been an Auxiliary Coach for both my volleyball and track teams all 4 years of high school. She has been very instrumental in my development in both sports. My dad is always there to give me plenty of coaching off the court and track in sports and academics as well as being my personal trainer, mostly for track.” Grose also would like to thank her Pawpaw for rarely missing any of her sporting events.
Kayla Grose also appreciates what she feels has been a top-rate education and experience at Frankfort High School. “They have an amazing faculty and staff that has been instrumental in preparing me academically for a college curriculum. I am also thankful to have had Coach Cessna as my track coach the past 4 years. He has always believed in me and helped me to believe I could be better than even I thought I could be,” Gross explains.
For all she’s already done, Grose feels as if there’s still more for her to accomplish as a Frankfort Falcon. Grose has set her goals, “My goal this year is to break the school record in the 300-meter hurdles and hopefully finally get that state championship.”
In true Kayla Grose fashion, no doubt she’ll work hard to accomplish these goals, you certainly wouldn’t want to bet against her. Then it’s on to West Virginia Wesleyan next year to continue her track career and begin studying nursing. Like her athletic prowess, Nursing is in her genes. “My mom is a nurse anesthetist and that is a career choice I would like to explore as well.”
With so many options, Grose explains her college choice, “After visiting several colleges, I knew as soon as I stepped onto Wesleyan’s campus that I loved it. I was looking for a smaller college with a good Nursing program and a good track program. They have one of the best rated nursing programs in the state of West Virginia.”
Kayla Grose is excited to hit the ground running, literally, at West Virginia Wesleyan next year. No doubt Grose, and Wesleyan, will realize they’ve made the right choice.