Applegate follows heart to Corban (X-C Run)

May 19, 2011

Mariah Applegate

In a sense, Mariah Applegate of Anchorage was born to run. Not in the way that she was destined to be the best ever, but more so in the way that it feels so natural.

“I feel alive when I run,” she told me.

No surprise then that she became one of the best Class 3A high school cross-country runners in Alaska, finishing in the top 5 of the state meet in each of her final three years.

And it’s no surprise that she’ll take her sneakers to the next level.

Applegate, of Grace Christian fame, is headed to Corban University, a NAIA school where she will run cross country as well as participate on the track and field team. She has qualified for the state meet in three events, including her specialty, the 3,200 meters.

Corban University, a Christian college located in Salem, Ore., is nationally recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a top 10 best of 2010.

“I really liked the atmosphere of the campus,” she said. “It’s the perfect fit. It was away from everything, but it was still close enough to go out and do stuff. It had a small-town feel to it.”

Applegate will major in elementary education and has plans to get her Masters in special education or American Sign Language. She was drawn to it after interning at a kids speech therapy center, where she met a boy with fetal alcohol syndrome.

“Seeing how he was affected by that … I had so much compassion towards him because it looked like it was so difficult,” she said. “I have a heart for helping people like that.”