Redmond High’s co-valedictorians aren’t just succeeding in the classroom, they’ll be running in college.
Treyson Conley and Kim Roberts recently signed to run cross country and track for Northwest Nazarene University and Linfield College, respectively. They were part of a group of Redmond senior athletes taking part in a celebration June 6 in the school’s library.
Roberts, who plans to major in secondary education, said the sport lends itself to doing well in school.
“Cross country hinges on your ability to push yourself when no one’s around and to continue working hard even when you meet your goals — to make new ones, and to really work hard and go toward those,” she said. “I think that translates very well to academics, because, even when there’s no one to tell you to study for a test, you’ll do it because you’re motivated, and you want to see yourself do the best that you can.”
The pair are the third and fourth distance runners to be named valedictorian since Tim and Melissa Conley came on board as coaches seven years ago, with Tim heading the track team and Melissa coaching cross country and track and field distance runners. Three of the valedictorians are the Conleys’ children, with Treyson joining sisters Michaela and MaKenna.
And runner Dana Wanamaker was named salutatorian for Redmond in 2017.
Treyson said he is able to compartmentalize the activities he takes part in.
“Make sure I’m not spending too much time on any specific thing,” he said. “I just make sure I put in enough time to be successful (athletically) and get good grades.”
Determination and planning ahead are keys in being able to succeed in both the classroom and at school, said Roberts, who will compete at the NCAA Division III level at Linfield.
“Being very methodical and organized and setting specific goals for yourself, so you never lose track of where you are and what you have to do to get there,” she said.
Treyson, who will major in mechanical engineering at the Nampa, Idaho, Division II school, said his parents read to him and his sisters regularly as children. He was homeschooled until first grade and his sisters beyond that.
“All three of us took pride in challenging ourselves,” he said. “It’s not about the title of valedictorian, it’s about pushing ourselves to be the best we can be.”
The academic success for the boys cross country team was evident when Redmond had the highest team grade-point average of any team in Oregon, in all classifications, for the second consecutive year.
Tim Conley deflects credit for the accomplishments.
“It’s very common in cross country to have high achieving academics just because of the nature of the sport,” he said.
“They’re great kids,” Melissa Conley added.
Roberts was one of three Panthers at the event who will play sports at Linfield. Josh Hair will play basketball at the McMinnville school, while Dylan Taylor (who has also been known as Jack) will play football and might also try for the basketball team.
Other Panthers moving on to college include Kiki Fierstos, who will play softball at Division III Willamette University in Salem, football player Kamau Troutman, who will join brother Alani at Division II Western Oregon University in Monmouth, and Brook O’Keefe, who will cheer at Graceland University in Iowa.
— Reporter: 541-548-2186, gfolsom@redmond spokesman.com