Senior Spotlight: Gretna's Kellen McLaughlin

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GRETNA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Kellen McLaughlin does it all at Gretna High School.

Gretna's Kellen McLaughlin signs on to run at Nebraska Wesleyan outside of Gretna High School on Thursday, 4/23/20. (Rex Smith)

He runs cross country and track, swims, is in marching back, and is part of the show choir.

Still, he was a bit disappointed he didn't get to go after his goals in his final high school track season.

“It was kind of a mix of disappointment and understanding for me I’d say," McLaughlin said. "Disappointment because, obviously, I wanted to get back on the track for my final senior year, but then that understanding that it’s bigger than just having that final track season. It’s about saving lives and helping our nurses and our teachers and everyone on those front lines.”

Earlier this week, he signed on to run year-round for Nebraska Wesleyan.

He said he feels fortunate he can continue his athletic career.

“I feel very, very much so blessed that I have the opportunity to keep running collegiately next year whereas some of my teammates don’t necessarily have that opportunity or their lives are taking them on other paths,” said McLaughlin

During the pandemic, he's using running and writing as outlets to stay positive.

He wrote a post on his Blog called "Leashed" that encourages other seniors to stay positive and only worry about controlling what they can.

“It’s kind of been my mantra throughout this entire uncertain time, this unprecedented time, is that you’ve got to control what you can control. It’s silly to try and control things that are out of your hands,” McLaughlin said.