GREENVILLE — It wasn’t that long ago that Greenville senior Bailey Parmelee was playing volleyball in the fall and running sprints in the spring.
Now she is just running and doing it very well.
Last spring, Parmelee switched to distance running for the Yellow Jackets track team and this past fall she opted to run cross country instead of playing volleyball.
The results were multiple school records and now an athletic scholarship to Central Michigan University.
Parmelee signed her letter of intent last week and will run cross country in the fall and indoor and outdoor track for the Chippewas.
Her decision came down to two schools. Michigan State began recruiting Parmelee following track season and CMU during the cross country season.
“I liked Central because my brother went there and I already knew the campus,” Parmelee said. “It was between Central and Michigan State. I took my two official visits and I just liked Central better.”
Running in college was not an original expectation for Parmelee. She said the process went quick.
“It was really quick,” Parmelee said of recruiting. “I never even thought about running in college until last year, honestly.”
Last year, Parmelee won O-K White Conference titles in the 800-, 1,600-, and 3,200-meter runs. She won regional titles in the 1,600 and 3,200 and then placed sixth in Division 1 in the 3,200 — she did not run the 1,600 at state.
Parmelee set school records in both the 1,600 and 3,200. Her record in the 1,600 is 5:00.39 and 10:53.62 in the 3,200.
In the fall, Parmelee ran a school record in cross country with a time of 17:56.9. Not bad for somebody that had never run three miles before. She also placed seventh at the Division 2 state finals at 18:01.
Parmelee was named to the O-K White first team and placed second at regionals.
The decision to change events and sports has worked out well for Parmelee.
“I like the different tactics. In sprints, it’s going hard the whole time and just getting it done,” Parmelee said of running. “With long distance there is strategy.”
Parmelee is currently running five to six times a week, at least three miles at a time. She is also running with some of the best in the area as part of her preparation for the upcoming track season.
“I’m just looking to do the best that I can,” Parmelee said. “I don’t know it I will have as good as a season as I did last year, but I’m hoping so.”
Greenville’s first track meet is March 22 at Rockford. Their first home meet is March 26 against Cedar Springs and Kenowa Hills.