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West Orange Times & Observer Friday, Oct. 8, 2021 1 month ago

Athlete of the Week: Emily Knopfle

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Olympia freshman already making her mark with three first places and two second places this season.
by: Chris Martucci Sports Editor

Emily Knopfle is a freshman cross country runner for Olympia High School. But don’t let her underclassman status fool you. She has already made her mark on the Titans so far this season. She has taken first place in three separate meets, the latest coming at the West Orange Invitational Sept. 25. Knopfle went a personal-best time of 18:46 during her win at West Orange. 

What expectations did you have coming into your freshman season? 

I already knew how fast I was at everything, (because) I’m an elite triathlete. I didn’t expect to be placing this high and doing this well compared to everyone else. I’m proud of myself and surprised at what I have done so far. 

How did you become a triathlete? 

I started by doing a small annual one in Gainesville, which is where I lived, and I was winning it every year. One of my friends was a triathlete, and he got me with the team, and from there, I have just improved. My coach, Sarah McCarty, got me to where I am now, and I got fifth at nationals. 

Do you plan to do an Iron Man triathlon? 

I definitely want to do an Iron Man one day, but I plan on doing more of Olympic distance and going to the Olympics. Either Paris 2024 or Brisbane 2032. 

What are your goals for your time at Olympia? 

I haven’t thought of that too much, because it’s been surprising at what I have accomplished so far. I think it’d be awesome to get top three in the state championships. If I could do that this year and win as a senior, that would be cool. 

Hobbies outside of running? 

I do anything really, but one of my favorite things to do is make house plans, which sounds weird. Two years ago, I was bored and I made a house plan, and I have done that a few more times since. It’s fun for me to design. I’d ask my parents what they’d want in a house and then make it. 

Favorite TV/Netflix show? 

“Friends” 

Disney or Universal? Favorite ride? 

Universal — VelociCoaster

What is your favorite part of October besides Halloween? 

The temperature gets cooler, which makes it easier to run. It’s not so unbearable. I like the fall energy — the decorations; the orange leaves, even though I know we don’t really get that in Florida; I like it all. 

Favorite Halloween candy? 

Candy corn. 

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Chris Martucci is the sports editor for the West Orange Times & Observer,  Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com. He holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri — Columbia School of Journalism, as well as a bachelor's degree in...

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