Calallen’s Grace Ann Polasek will be taking her running talents to Texas A&M-Kingsville starting next year, as she signed with her letter of intent with the Javelinas cross country and track teams on Friday.

A five-time regional qualifier in cross country and track, Polasek chose her future path after seeing some classmates sign for college athletics themselves.

“I hadn’t decided until last Monday, when I saw six of my really good friends sign to play football in college, that this is exactly what I want to do,” Polasek said, “and that’s exactly where I want to go.”

Polasek picked up running from her family, which has a history with the sport.

“I’ve been running in 5k, 10k races ever since I was really young,” she said. “My mom’s a runner, so it’s been in our family for a long time.”

Along with running, Polasek will also be keeping another tradition going. She will attend the same university as her father, Raymond, after choosing the Javelinas over offers from Texas State and A&M-Corpus Christi.

“Ever since she was little, she’s been very competitive,” Polasek’s dad said. “We’re glad to see that, although her high school years are ending, things that she started in high school – her education and being real active athletically – are continuing. It’s great.”

Polasek feels comfortable with the surroundings in Kingsville, something that played a key role in her decision.

“This fall I visited (the campus) and I really just fell in love with the team and the coaches. I was just welcomed with open arms,” she said. “When it came down to making a decision, it wasn’t really about what school I wanted to go to, it was about where I would feel most at home. And I felt really at home with the team and with the coaches there.”

Now, Polasek will soon realize her longtime goal of being a collegiate runner, despite some bumps along the way.

“When it really came down to it, I’d had a dream my freshman year that I wanted to run in college,” she said. “As I got busy and life changed, the dream kind of faded away. But this past year, through the help of coaches and my family – who is my biggest support system – I made the decision on Kingsville. I’m really excited about it.”