Ivy Kohl signing

Navarro senior long-distance runner Ivy Kohl smiles for a photo with her family after she signed her National Letter of Intent to continue her cross country and track career at Tarleton University on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, at the Navarro Events Center in Geronimo.

Navarro senior cross country and track athlete Ivy Kohl has dreamed of competing at the college level since she was in middle school.

Kohl’s college dreams came true as she signed her National Letter of Intent to continue her cross country and track career at NCAA Division II at Tarleton State University in Stephenville on Wednesday at the Navarro Events Center in Geronimo.

“It’s really surreal,” Kohl said. “Honestly, this has been my dream since seventh grade and I’ve been working really hard for it and it hasn’t really hit me. I still feel like I’m in a dream with this right now, like someone pinch me.”

As a Navarro Panther, Kohl runs for the cross country and track girls teams. In cross country, she advanced to regionals her freshman year and reached state her sophomore, junior and senior year.

Last season during track season, Kohl experienced health issues that slowed her down and almost gave up on running again. However, Kohl bounced back, reached state in the fall for cross country and hopes to redeem herself this year during track and field season, Kohl said in August.

While at Navarro, Kohl has had two different head coaches in cross country — Stephen Zaleski (who retired last year) for her first three years and Jason Magin this season.

Kohl said there were many reasons she chose to sign to Tarleton State, but her main one was the similarities her future head coach, Pat Ponder, had with her past coaches.

“Whenever I took my visit there, it felt like home and coach Ponder really reminded me of coach Zaleski and coach Magin,” she said. “I really love a really hard coach who will push me to do my best and the team felt more like home also because we are such a close group of girls and I feel like I can bond with them really easily. Also, Tarleton is just a really pretty campus and it reminds me of home so I knew it was for me.”

Kohl said she is excited to start her new chapter and plans to take everything she has learned at Navarro to the next level.

“I’ve learned here to just be myself and if someone doesn’t like you, that’s fine,” she said. “You are who you are and just never give up on your dreams because it will happen because you have people behind you who will help you no matter what.”

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