Kite to continue running at collegiate level

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Summer Kite
PCHS senior Summer Kite poses with her family during her signing ceremony on March 22, 2024.

PCHS senior signs with top private school in engineering

SHENANDOAH — This is a busy time for Summer Kite. Last Saturday, she finished among the top 15 in two events at the state track meet in Harrisonburg. This Saturday, she will be among 137 graduates at Page County High School receiving her diploma. In three weeks, she’ll be running in a half marathon in Farmville, Va.…and in three months she’ll be a mechanical engineering major in Terre Haute, Indiana.

During a signing ceremony in March, Kite announced her intentions to sign with the Fightin’ Engineers of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. While the PCHS track star will be competing in athletics at the collegiate level, she’s going to the “top private school in engineering” for the academics.

“I was blown away by how impressive they were … the program, the resources and the professors… I feel like I will get a top notch education in mechanical engineering,” Kite said of her visit to the Indiana campus right before Thanksgiving. She supported the school’s claim of being the “hidden gem of the midwest.”

The PCHS senior applied to five schools and had an opportunity to run at three of them. Graduating PCHS with a 4.3 grade point average, Kite says she chose Rose-Hulman because “academics come first.” However, the fact that she gets to compete on the cross country team as well is an added bonus.

“I’m really happy that I can continue to do something that I love,” Kite told PVN. “I want to keep getting better.”

The PCHS standout competed in the VHSL Class 2 state cross country meet for the last three years in a row and set a school record in her junior year. She also broke a six-minute mile in her junior year and won the 1600-meter Region 2B title with a time of 5:44. In her senior year, Kite earned all-state honors after finishing 13th at the state cross country meet, broke the school record in the 1600 meters (which had stood for 18 years) with a time of 5:37 to win the Bull Run District title, and then captured a Region 2B title in the 3200 meters. On Saturday, she finished seventh in the 3200 meters at the state meet in 12:29 — just four seconds off the school record — and 13th in the 1600 meters.

Being an NCAA Division III program, there are no athletic scholarships available at Rose-Hulman, but Kite will receive an academic scholarship that will cover a little over a third of the cost to attend the small, private engineering school for all four years. In addition to adjusting to college life in the classroom, Kite will also need to adapt to longer runs. Cross country runners in high school typically run a 5K, as where cross country for collegiate women mean a 6K race.

Kite will be one of four freshmen joining the 14-member cross country team for the Fightin’ Engineers this fall. Head Coach Derick Lawrence will be entering his second season after leading the Rose-Hulman men to their 13th conference title and the women to a fourth-place finish last year. Kite’s first meet will be on Sept. 7 at the Grizzly Invitational.

The small school atmosphere attracted Kite to Rose-Hulman. She was discovered by Coach Lawrence after she posted her SAT scores and running abilities on a website called Next College Student-Athlete, or NCSA. The conversation grew from there and continued through a campus visit last fall. Nowadays, the coach is sending training regiments for the summer.

Kite says she’s ready for the challenges that college life presents — both in the classroom and on the track — because of the words she lives by from former Olympic runner Steve Fontaine: “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”

“I think to be able to run is a gift,” she said. “I was so lucky to run in high school…and I want to continue to work even harder at it and be the best I can be.”

And for those classmates, teammates, family and friends that she leaves behind this fall back in Virginia…

“They will always have a place in my heart and I want to make them proud in whatever I do moving forward.”

For more information on Rose-Hulman’s women’s cross country,




Johnson wins second state title

26 local athletes competing at Class 2 state track and field championships at JMU

Johnson claims state runner-up at Class 2 cross country championships; Kite earns All-State

Hensley and Kite still leading Panthers’ cross country

Kite leading cross country runners this fall

Cross country update ~ Page’s Hensley and Kite flying to Top 10 finishes, along with Luray’s Seal

Kite wins cross country meet at Luray

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