“It just helps me clear out my feelings and take away from school work. It’s just a great way for me to have fun and to be able to do it with the people I love,” said Akemi Von Scherr.
For Akemi, running has always been a family affair. It’s more than just a sport, but rather memories of running around the track with her dad and sisters. Akemi and her sister Emmi now run together at La Quinta High School.
“Ever since we were little, we were just little hyper-babies so my dad was like, ‘okay, we’ll just take them to the track and see how they do’ and we just ran around it and kind of found out that we love running,” said Emmi Von Scherr.
Emmi says she’s always looked up to her older sister. The qualities that stand out most…
“Her kindness and humbleness,” Emmi said. “She’s always encouraging others, not just from our team but from other teams around, and even if we don’t know a team, she’ll just go up and talk to them. So she’s really outgoing in a good way.”
Akemi’s friend Ashley Waters has been by her side since middle school, in both soccer and cross country. She admires Akemi for some of the same things.
“She’s the most humble person you could ever meet,” Waters said. “She’s also really uplifting to all the team members. I’ve never heard her say a negative word about anybody, she always finds the good in every single person. She always pushes me to do better even when I know I’m not at 100%.”
Akemi’s positivity radiates when it comes to running. Just ask her coach.
“She never complains. When most kids are running, they’re like ‘Coach, I’m tired!'” But not Akemi, he said. “She has a smile on her face, and she just says, ‘How many more, what pace,’ and she just goes for it.
Akemi plans to continue her athletic career in college next year, but she’s still deciding whether it’ll be swimming or running. Whether or not she runs competitively, she can’t see herself ever giving it up.
“Just being able to have that ability to run is such a great blessing to me and I don’t know where I’d be without it and everyone in my life who has supported me with it,” she said.