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  Eric Niestroy, 17, is a senior at Lake Fenton High School, where he has had an active high school career in varsity cross country, track and field and baseball. He also has competed during the winter at indoor track meets for three years as an individual athlete. A member of Lake Fenton’s Key Club, Niestroy volunteered several times during the year in the community. He is the son of James and Susan Niestroy of Fenton Township. He has a sister, Kendall, 20, and a brother, Nathan, 15.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to attend Saginaw Valley State University to major in secondary education and will be running cross county and track there.

How do you define yourself now as a high school student and how different do you think you’ll be five years from now?

I define myself as a very friendly, respectful, hardworking high school student. In five years, I hope to have graduated with a degree from Saginaw Valley State University, be teaching and possibly coaching as well.

What difference has running made in your life?

It has helped me make great friendships over the four years of high school. It also has taught me that if you want something in life you’re going to have work for it. Running has become something I love to do, from just going on a small jog with friends to racing during cross country season and track. It is something I hope I can do for a long time.

What’s the best movie you’ve ever seen?

“Without Limits” is a movie my cross country coach would have us watch the night before the regional meet. In the movie, it shows the story of Steve Prefontaine and how he changed the running world. To me, it was one of the most inspiring movies I have seen and really shows what it’s like to be a runner. 

What’s the kindest thing a friend has ever done for you?

During my freshman year when I first joined cross country, our senior captain, Jacob Fletcher, became my mentor. He took me under his wing and showed me what cross country was all about. He showed me that the work you put into this sport is what the sport will give back to you. On top of all that, he really held me accountable when it came to going to morning practices and doing my best. He would give me rides to practice and was truly a great leader and friend to me.

What experience has shaped you more than anything else?

It would be a running camp I attended last summer in the Steen Mountains in Oregon. I did some of the most physically and mentally challenging things in my life. I learned a lot about the person I am, the leader I needed to be for my team and the person I want to become when I am older. 

What career excites you?

Teaching and helping people is something I have always enjoyed. I enjoy leading and helping the younger freshman and sophomores on our cross country team and I enjoy volunteering at our elementary and intermediate school. Helping others learn and grow is something important to me. I look forward to teaching after college and possibly coaching as well.

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