Kacie O'Neil has run a mile in 5 minutes and 9 seconds. She has done the 200 meters in a very respectable 26 seconds. And the Conestoga sophomore can more than hold her own in a game of lacrosse.
Because the track and lacrosse seasons are both in the spring, O'Neil always has a choice: Does she run track or play lacrosse?
You get an idea of how torn she has been between the sports when you consider that she played lacrosse as a seventh grader at Valley Forge Middle School, but gave it up to run track as an eighth grader. She began playing lacrosse in second grade and became serious about it in fourth grade.
After this past indoor track season, O'Neil faced the same decision again this spring.
Fortunately for O'Neil, Conestoga lacrosse coach Jen Cadden and track coach Ryan Comstock made it easy for her by allowing her to give both a shot.
"She's good at both," Cadden said. "I didn't want to be the one telling her to pick one."
O'Neil is delighted to be doing both. There have been only a few conflicts.
"I ran track in the winter - we had a pretty strong 4x800 relay - and Coach [Comstock] had wanted us running at the Penn Relays. He came and talked to me about doing both sports," she said.
The Pioneers girls' track team had capped a very successful indoor season by winning the state championship. O'Neil ran on the winning 4x800 relay as well as the 4x200 and 4x400 relays, which took fifth and third, respectively. She earned high school all-American honors.
Now she is making solid contributions to both teams.
In addition to her work with the relay teams, she won a silver medal at the Central League championships earlier this month with a high jump of 4 feet, 10 inches. She took first in the 800 at the West Chester Invitational two weeks ago.
Playing at midfield or low attack, she has helped a young lacrosse team team to a 12-6 record this season. The Pioneers are rated 17th in eastern Pennsylvania by LaxPower.
Comstock sees tremendous potential in O'Neil because of her versatility as a runner. He compares her favorably with Liz Costello, who became a state-champion distance and cross-county runner for Conestoga before graduating.
"She's one of our best athletes," Comstock said of O'Neil. "I can see her running anything from the 400 to the two mile. She even led off for our 4x100 relay at the Central championships."
O'Neil said that the 400 is her favorite, but that the 800 is "growing on me." And she enjoys running outdoors over indoors.
"It's easier mentally. The straightaways allow me a longer stride," she explained.
Whatever O'Neil is running, Comstock tries not to over-coach her.
"My job is to teach her how to run and let her natural talent take over," he said.