SALTILLO, Miss. (WTVA) - Saltillo High School's Mary Ashton Priest signed with North Alabama's cross country program on Friday.
Priest, a two-time All-State selection and three-time state champion, has only been running cross country for four years.
"I was supposed to have two friends that were supposed to be trying out with me for cross country, just to try something new, and I got to the tryout, and both of them bailed on me," Priest said. "I was running by myself for almost the entire first year until I got to know the team.
"I kind of fell in love with the competitiveness of the sport, (and) at the same time, you have the support of everybody around you."
"Her gift, if anything, is her work ethic, and she's gonna work hard, she's worked hard for us," said Saltillo cross country coach Charles Covington. "She has improved from a runner that was really struggling right at the first, to one of our best, most consistent runners, so, she's gonna do great there."