By: Cameron Stansberry
Withrow Track and Field is now an official track and field powerhouse in the state of Ohio, as they have generated both a girls team that has won back to back state championships and a boys team that has produced the school’s first ever individual national champion this year in Albert Kalala.
As a kid born and raised in the Republic of Congo on the coastline of Western Africa, Kalala and his family didn’t become citizens of the United States until roughly a year and a half ago. Kalala came to Withrow with absolutely zero experience as a high jumper, just a tall, lanky kid gifted with raw athleticism. Albert joined the track team at the start of his sophomore year and immediately became one of the school’s standout athletes, finishing 5th overall in the state of Ohio for the high jump.
Here we are, one year later, and the talented high jumper from Congo stands here as Withrow’s first ever individual national champion. When asked about sharing his feelings on what the award means to him, Kalala said “Personally it was like a mission for me to go to nationals and win because last year finishing 5th in the state was bad for me, and then this year I took a mission to work hard and I came up with the gold medal.”
Head Coach, Brock Rutledge, has the utmost praise for his superstar saying “Albert is a confident individual that knows what he wants to do and hard work and dedication is what he lives by to get to where he wants to go.”
Albert Kalala, once just a boy from the Republic of Congo, now has more college scholarship offers than he can even count and seeks to work even harder this upcoming offseason in order to break the state of Ohio’s high jump record his senior season. Albert not only plans to continue his track career into college, but his ultimate goal is to one day make it to the Olympics.
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