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Scholar Athlete of the Week
from Eyewitness Sports Online


Student: Ali Cunningham
School: Ripley
Primary Sport: Softball

She is a three sport star, but Ali Cunningham has found a niche in cross country. "Running was never my thing but as the season as progressed its become a passion of mine. I really enjoy it."

Cunningham didn't start the sport until her junior year, discovering it almost by accident. "I was at the beach during volleyball tryouts so the coach told me i wasn't elgible. So, my sister was running cross country and i was like that would be a fun sport to do."

Ali has picked up the pace quickly, becoming the best runner on her team, finishing first or second in several meets "I placed second in the last two meets. Especially the parkersburg meet when it was really muddy and i paced off the parkesburg girl the whole time. It was a really good race."

Cunningham is second in her class with a 4.25 gpa, working hard to achieve an academic scholarship to college. "You have to make a lot of decisions and i told my parents i don't think i can leave softball and they were like ok. But, i worked really hard on my academics that i got a lot of scholarships to help pay."

Cunningham finished on the outside of the state meet a year ago, something that has motivated her in 2012. "Any loss whether it be softball, basketball, or cross country has always motivated me. I worked so much harder this year. Last year i would slack off and say its ok and next week doesn't really matter but this year every meet matters every practice matters."

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