by Kate Billingsley
Natnael Asmelash is a boys varsity cross country runner, who has had an incredibly successful and rewarding season. He was nominated as Athlete of the Issue by Dean of Student Activities, Brian Garvey, and cross country head coach, Ronald Kronlage.
“Nat is an honor roll student, is a very good team leader, and both helpful and accessible to his teammates,” says Kronlage.
Asmelash’s effort in cross country, as well as his school work, are what make him such a role model to other runners on the J.E.B. Stuart Cross Country team.
Committed is another word that could be used to describe Asmelash, who’s work ethic has been a crucial part of the team’s success this season.
Asmelash worked with the other team captains, Matt O’Cadiz and Maya Verma to organize student lead practices throughout the summer in anticipation for the cross country season.
“To encourage my team I usually let them know that they are ready, and have prepared for every race. I do my best to make sure they trust themselves.,” says Asmelash.
Asmelash also is giving back to the community. Last spring, he organized a running club at Glasgow Middle School, which met once a week, and encouraged middle schoolers to want to run cross country at Stuart.
Asmelash is also very dedicated to his sport, Kronlage looks back saying, “ In the past, he has been known to run over three miles from his home near Stuart to Mason District Park [for practice].”
Asmelash’s accomplishments thus far include finishing in the top 5 among over 200 varsity runners in a major invitational at Great Meadow Invitational and DCXC Festival. He was also honored by Runwashington magazine as one of the top 10 elite high school racers in Northern Virginia.
Asmelash is optimistic about the future for the cross country team, stating “My favorite part about this team is the fact that we are still growing and improving, the future is bright for Stuart XC.”