Staying close to home appealed to Chelsea Laury when she considered her college options.
Laury, a 2013 St. Vincent-St. Mary High School graduate, knew she wanted to run track in college and went through the recruiting process.
Kent State University, Tennessee, Coastal Carolina, Walsh and Akron all showed interest, and after much thought Laury, 18, elected to attend KSU on scholarship.
“For awhile, I wanted to go down South,” Laury said. “I felt like I wanted to get out of Ohio, but then I changed my mind and decided to go to Kent. I visited there and felt comfortable. All the girls in my family went to Kent. I never thought I would go somewhere close. I went there and just fell in love with it. I love the coaching staff and the athletes.
“It is kind of a tradition in the family for the girls to go to Kent. Everyone in the family is happy. I am very happy that I chose to go to Kent and stay local. I obviously can be around my family and they can come watch me run.”
Laury, who is 5-foot-9, said she plans to run the 400 at KSU and could also run the 800 and on relays. She is set to major in biology and minor in business.
Laury qualified for the Division II state track and field meet each year she was in high school in multiple events, and was a key member of the Fighting Irish girls team that won the 2012 state title.
This past season as a senior, she made the state meet in the 400-meters, the long jump and on the 800 relay and 1,600 relay. The 800 relay and 1,600 relay both finished third, and she was sixth in the 400 and ninth in the long jump.
“Her versatility was the name of the game, especially her senior year,” St. V-M track and field coach Dan Lancianese said. “We knew she was a very good 400 runner. There was no doubt in my mind about that at all. What was really impressive was her ability in the long jump. She broke a 10-year old school record with a 17-7½ in the long jump. She started at the first of May. We do not have a long jump pit at the high school so she only jumped at meets.”
As a freshman, Laury reached state in the 800 relay (fifth), 1,600 relay (eighth) and 200.
The 800 relay and 1,600 relay were both fifth in the state her sophomore year.
Her junior year featured a first at the state meet and a seventh at the national meet in the 1,600 relay. The 800 relay took second and she was fifth in the 400.
Laury was named the St. V-M best female athlete for 2012-2013 after earning MVP honors in track and field and volleyball. She lettered four times in track and field and three times in volleyball.
Her top time in the open 400 is 56.1 seconds and her best split in the 1,600 relay is 55.4 seconds.