Franklin High School student Evan Kern (12), who only began middle distance running his junior year, will continue his running career at Linfield College, in McMinnville, Oregon. Linfield is a division three school. Kern signed a ceremonial letter on May 2 in the Franklin gym, alongside other future college athletes.

Kern is excited to be a Linfield Wildcat. “A lot of people who play sports in high school don’t get the opportunity to continue in college, and I am very lucky to be someone who does,” said Kern, who sees Linfield as a perfect fit. “Linfield had just what I was looking for. I wasn’t planning on getting any athletic scholarships; I just wanted to continue running and racing. They are a [Division three] school so they focus on academics before athletics, and that’s the kind of school I wanted to run for,” he said.

Kern began his running career as a sprinter, but eventually discovered that he was better cut out for middle distance events—in particular the 800 meters during the track season. Kern also enjoys longer distances during cross country, but really loves the blend of strength and speed needed to be successful at the 800. “Middle distance is a perfect in-between of what I like to do and what I’m good at,” says Kern.

Kern is thankful for his teammates as well as coach Jacob Michaels for the progress he’s made in his running. “My favorite part about Franklin athletics was being part of a really solid team. The cross country/distance group has some of the best team spirit of anyone in the entire school, and I don’t think it’s just because we’re really good,” said Kern. “Everyone has a tremendous passion for those sports, and that’s what makes it fun to be a part of.”

At Linfield, Kern is considering majoring in biology, and is interested in a career related to medical science, but probably not something involving med-school. He has enjoyed hands-on classes at Franklin, including shop and culinary arts. “They are great opportunities to get pre-career experience, and the environment is the complete opposite of a typical classroom class, which is a little of what I was looking for in high school,” he said. Kern also likes many of the science classes he has taken because of the interesting and often fun labs that are involved.

Being relatively new to distance running, Kern has much to look forward to. And he knows it. “What I am most excited about is simply continuing to run and race,” said Kern. “I only started distance running two years ago, so I know I have a lot of room for improvement.”

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