Never Give Up



He could have given up. He had just injured his leg for the second time in two years. Instead of giving up and walking away from running, senior Andrew Straessle kept fighting and persisted. And because of that decision, he is now a college athlete.

Straessle started running in the sixth grade and his reason for starting is not expected. “My mom made me run at Holy Souls. I didn’t want to my first year in but later in the seventh grade, I discovered that I am good at running and I might as well keep with it,” said Straessle.

Straessle, who has been running for seven years now, joined the cross-country team, and he was on track to be very good until the winter of his freshman year. That’s when he suffered a stress fracture close to his knee that put him out for the whole track season. This injury didn’t stop him though because his sophomore year, he rebounded and excelled. But in the winter of his sophomore year he experienced another stress fracture close to his ankle. Both stress fractures were on his right leg.

“After my second fracture, I was ready to give up. But with the help of Gary [cross-country coach Taylor] and my friends, I was able to push through and keep going,” said Straessle.

Even though Straessle had two stress fractures, he still enjoys cross-country and running with his team. “The team makes running less boring. It is fun to hang out and run with them and not by myself,” said Straessle.

Straessle would then push forward to new heights he thought he couldn’t reach. He has run a sub-17 minute 5k, a 4:37 mile, and a 9:51 two-mile all after his two fractures. These times and the hard work Straessle put in earned him a spot on the cross-country team at Arkansas State University.

Senior Michael Miller, who is one of Straessle’s long-time friends and teammates, can see him going far in college running. “I think Andrew will be great in college and based off his current improvements, he can only go up running wise,” said Miller.

Straessle said, “If I had given up after my second stress fracture, I would never have been here. And because of me not giving up, I was recruited by them [Arkansas State] to be on their team.”

Another of the Straessle’s teammates and friends, freshman Lucas Bozeman, really sees the leadership and hard work Straessle puts in. Bozeman said, “He is inspirational and one of the seniors I look up to. He is a top-notch runner and works incredibly hard to be where he is right now.”


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