Havelock's DeBerry gets invitation to run in Australia

deberry track Photo available for purchase

Havelock High School runner Leah DeBerry stretches on the track at Havelock High. DeBerry has received an invitation to run in Australia this summer.

Drew C. Wilson/Havelock News
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 02:48 PM.

In her years as a track athlete, Havelock’s Leah DeBerry has won more than a few races. But perhaps no run was as sweet as the one she took when she found out she had been invited to participate in a prestigious track event in Australia.

"I was so happy. I ran down the school hallway," she said.

DeBerry received an invitation to compete in track at the 2013 Down Under Sports event this upcoming summer in Australia. Started in 1989, the event features competition in football, basketball, volleyball, cross country, wrestling and track, and offers the chance for standout athletes from the United States to go to Australia for a week of competition while learning about Australian culture through tours and other events.

DeBerry finished seventh last year in the state 3A championships in the 400-meter run, but the junior’s versatility is a strength. She has competed in everything from 100-meter sprints to mile runs.

"She’s really an all-around athlete," said Mike Rowlend, DeBerry’s club coach. "She’s a strong sprinter, but she’s also good in distance."

DeBerry, who placed fourth in the eastern regionals in the 400, was also a member of the Havelock High 800 relay team that placed 12th in the state last year, and the 3,200 relay team that placed 13th in the state last year, which shows her versatility.

"I don’t like being called a sprinter or a distance runner," she said. "I just like people to know that I can run. It doesn’t matter what race."

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