Running is a family affair for the Ackley sisters


CEDARVILLE, Ohio – Alayna and Savannah Ackley are deeply rooted in their family. But Cedarville’s pull proved too strong and they moved away to pursue their academic and athletic careers.

Their talents will be shown on Saturday when the jackets host the G-MAC Championships on the Elvin R. King Cross Country Course.

The two runners have had great success since joining the Cedarville University cross country team. Alayna, a senior citizen, has been a consistent winner for the jackets since her first year and has won numerous accolades for her name at this point in her career.

Freshman Savannah has proven herself in the short time she drove for Cedarville. She has finished in the top three Cedarville runners at all meetings that season this season and has sometimes even taken the top spot from her sister.

“When you have your sister by your side, you are accountable,” said Savannah. “I think it helps to push each other.”

The Ackleys have been pushing each other all their lives. The two girls have four other siblings who all run – one of their sisters runs at Liberty University. The sport is how her parents met in college while fighting for a small NAIA school in Michigan.

“It was just a kind of family culture,” Alayna said. “Running is something we all do and we all love it. And I think everyone loves it because it’s part of the family so much. And we’re all good at it too, that helps. “

The Ackleys have been racing together for as long as Alayna can remember.

“We’re best friends,” said Savannah. “But at the start we are enemies.”

“There is no one you want to hit harder than your siblings,” Alayna laughed.

The Acleys’ love of family and running extends beyond their immediate family. All of her aunts, uncles, and cousins ​​live near their home in rural Michigan.

Her father’s family all live within 10 miles. Alayna says that she really started running – playing catch and various games at family gatherings with all of her cousins.

As the oldest sibling, she was allowed to run with her parents. It was a way for them to bond with them without their siblings. When she showed interest, her father would make calendars for her with miles planned each day.

“I really haven’t seen any other college that doesn’t compromise to stand up for the gospel
and do not be afraid to speak of their truth. “-
Savannah Ackley

When it came time to choose a school, Alayna didn’t want to be too far from home as her entire extended family was close. But the choice fell on Cedarville and Taylor University, both state schools. When Mr. Taylor closed the door, she made a commitment to Cedarville.

Savannah moved to Cedarville because of the chance to race her sister, but also because of Christ-centering.

“I really haven’t seen any other college that doesn’t compromise, stand up for the gospel and aren’t afraid to speak of its truth,” she said.

The evangelical focus extends to the cross-country vibe, something Savannah is learning and Alayna has come to appreciate very much.

“One of the hardest things to do as an athlete is to focus on something other than your sport in competition. “Said Alayna.

@CUJackets | Fans can visit Cedarville University Athletics too. follow Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.