Victoria East's Leesa Morales, front center, signs a letter of intent to run cross country at North Texas.
Originally published on Thursday, February 24, 2011
Leesa Morales is ready to take the next step.
Though she'll miss her family and friends, the senior distance runner at Victoria East is off to take on new challenges.
Morales has signed to run cross country at North Texas.
"At first I wasn't really sure where I was going to go to school," she said. "I started filling out some athlete questionnaires for several colleges and coach (Sam) Burroughs contacted me."
After that she took the trip up to Denton to see what it might be like to run for the Mean Green.
"I liked the coach, I like their facilty, I met the team and I liked them," she said.
And the location didn't hurt either.
"I liked that Denton is much larger than Victoria," she said. "After living in a small town for so long you want to get away, you want to branch out and see what other parts of the state have to offer you."
Morales should have the experience to strive at North Texas.
A state-qualifier in cross country this year, Morales has been running competitively since she was 8 years old, with outdoor track.
Since then she's run in countless meets, including national and college races.
All of that should help ease the uncertainty of traveling the 300-plus miles to Denton.
"Me and my family are very attached," she said. "I'm definitely going to miss them and I'm going to miss all my friends. I'm going up there and I'm gong to have to make completely new friends."
But even that shouldn't be too tough for Morales.
On the day she put pen to paper and signed her letter of intent, a friend, Jaline Luntz, gave her an encouraging sign outside the window.
Her thumbs up from the second story told Morales all she needed to know.