Kya Crooke is Ready to Have Another Incredible Season

Kya Crooke was born a natural athlete.  Her ability was evident to her parents at an early age, as their daughter was riding her bike without training wheels at 2 years old.  Kya's parents, Val and Julie Crooke, exposed their daughter to many sports and she excelled in them all.  In 2016 at the age of 9, Kya competed in her very first track meet.  She absolutely loved the thrill of competition, and after the first season she was hooked.  Her father is a native of the island nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis.  He grew up running track and played soccer in college.  Her mother was a 3-sport athlete in High School and played D1 college soccer as well.  Athleticism definitely runs in the family!

Track and Field is a family affair for the Crookes. Val and Julie started the Soca Speed Track Club in 2019, so that their daughters, Kya and Kenzie would have other young athletes to train with and to motivate each other.  The club now has 150 athletes between the ages of 6-18 and has become like extended family.  "I love my Soca Speed family. When I am at track meets, whether my team is with me or not, I know they have my back and everyone is cheering for me, from my teammates and their parents, to all of my coaches" said Kya.

Kya has many options when it comes to choosing her greatest accomplishment so far in track and field.  She is a 4x National Champion and a 7x All American.  She made history last year as a high school sophomore being the first to medal in 4 individual events at the IHSAA State Championships and holds 8 records at Heritage Christian High School (60m, 100m, 200m, 300h, 4x100, 4x400,  High jump, and Long jump).  Kya will tell you that her greatest accomplishment was making the U20 National team and competing in high jump for Team USA at the 2023 Pan American Games in Puerto Rico last August.  She was one of the youngest to make the team at the age of 16, and represented her country well, bringing home the silver medal.  Her family, friends and teammates were extremely proud of her.  "I can't describe the feeling of seeing my daughter in the Team USA uniform, with the American flag wrapped around her shoulders, as she represented her country doing what she loves. God is good!  We are beyond proud of her," said her mother. It has always been a dream of Kya's to compete for Team USA and she gives all the glory to God.  Her father stated. "I could not be more proud of my daughter, Kya.  She works hard and is deserving of the medals she earns.  But what fills my heart the most is her humility, and her trust in God who she knows, without a doubt, is the source of her strength."

What is next for Kya Crooke and her track and field journey?  Kya's goals for her high school season is to break the IHSAA State meet record in the high jump and the long jump. The high jump record of 6 feet was set in the 1984-85 season by Angela Bradburn.  In 1985-86 the long jump record was set by Tonya Sedwick of 20-4, and last year Kya came close with her jump of 19-10.75. She credits her coach, Victor Johnson, for helping her in her quest to make these goals a reality. Kya also has aspirations to be an Olympic athlete and continues to put in the hard work to make her dreams a reality. 

Many colleges with top women's track programs have been reaching out to Kya and we are excited to see which school she will choose to continue her academic and athletic career. She shares how her faith in Christ will play a huge role in this decision as she prays about the right school for her.  "I know that the athletic ability I have been blessed with God gave me for a reason. Before every meet before I walk out onto the track I say a prayer thanking God for the gifts He has given me and that everything I do is to glorify Him. I will never forget that. My faith is the most important part of my athletic journey and I would not be at the place I am today without having my foundation in Christ."  The future is very bright for this track superstar and we are excited to follow her journey.